India reels as summer temperatures touch 50C

Indian children take a bath at a roadside tap during a hot summer afternoon in Allahabad on June 2, 2019Image copyright
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India is reeling from an intense heat wave with temperatures crossing 45C in many parts of the country.

Churu, in the northern state of Rajasthan, is India’s hottest city – temperatures there soared to 50.8C on Sunday, the meteorological department said.

It has put Rajasthan and the central state of Madhya Pradesh on alert for “severe heat wave conditions”. Both states often record some of the highest temperatures at the peak of summer.

But this year has been particularly scorching in other places, too, from the northern plains to the Deccan plateau in the west and the south.

The unrelenting heat has been hardest on the homeless, as well as those who have no choice but to keep working despite the soaring temperatures – such as street vendors, traffic police and rickshaw drivers.

A homeless man takes an afternoon nap under a flyover on a hot day near Nigambodh Ghat as temperature rises above 45 degree celsius, on June 2, 2019.Image copyright
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A rickshaw puller wipes his face with a cloth on a hot summer day, as temperatures in the capital reach 45 degree Celsius, on May 31, 2019 in New Delhi, India.Image copyright
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Then there are the thousands of delivery staff powering Amazon or food delivery apps such as Swiggy – they often ferry food from restaurants as people are not keen to leave their homes and offices to brave the heat.

A delivery boy wipes off his sweat on a hot day as temperature rises above 45 degree celsius, on June 2, 2019 in New Delhi, India.Image copyright
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At least seven Indian cities and towns are on Monday’s list of the world’s 15 hottest places on weather website El Dorado. The remaining eight are in Pakistan, where Jacobabad – at 51C – is being called the hottest place on Earth.

India’s meteorological department has said the heat wave is likely to continue for a few more days as the monsoon is delayed.

People cover themselves to beat the heat on a summer day, as temperatures in the capital reach 45 degree Celsius, on May 31, 2019 in Noida, India.Image copyright
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Volunteers in some Indian cities have taken to distributing water and other cold drinks for free at traffic lights or on the side of the road.

Indian volunteers distribute sweet water during a hot summer day, in Amritsar on June 2, 2019.Image copyright
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Even police in the capital Delhi are taking shelter under umbrellas as they check vehicles.

Policemen stand guard under an umbrella on a hot afternoon at Raisina Hills as temperature rises above 45 degree celsius, on June 1, 2019 in New Delhi, India.Image copyright
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With temperatures climbing, some cities have reported acute water shortage.

But in others – such as Amritsar in the northern state of Punjab – public pools have offered some relief.

Indian youths play in a swimming pool on a hot summer day on the outskirts of Amritsar on June 2, 2019.Image copyright
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These children in Delhi were pictured enjoying a cool bath in the afternoon.

Children cool themselves off along a highway as they bathe on a hot afternoon, near Nizamuddin, on June 2, 2019 in New Delhi, IndiaImage copyright
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All images from Getty.



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