Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Thursday, 27 May 2010 13:10 UK

India reels under severe heat wave

Women walking in the heat in India
Temperatures have soared to near record levels

A severe heat wave has hit India with temperatures reaching nearly 50C (122F).

Jalgaon in Maharashtra state recorded 49C (120F). In the capital, Delhi, temperatures rose to above 45C (113F).

Media reports say a number of people had died of heat stroke in Maharashtra and Orissa, among other states. Many others have been admitted to hospitals.

Officials in the Indian Meteorological Department say it will "take some time" for the heat wave to subside.

A pre-monsoon heat wave in the India and Pakistan, has seen temperatures soar to 52C and lead to water shortages

Meteorological officials said the heat wave was due to a lack of rain - parts of Maharashtra, according to reports, were reporting a water crisis.

Doctors said people were falling sick because of the heat.

In Delhi temperatures have soared to 45.2C, the highest in four years, reports say.

In neighbouring Haryana, schools were shut down as temperatures rose to nearly 48C (118F) in the town of Hissar.

Amritsar in Punjab recorded 47C (116F) - the highest ever temperature recorded in the district is 47.7C in May 1978.

One media report quoted unnamed government officials in eastern Orissa state as saying that 25 people had died because of the heat in the past two weeks.

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