HYDERABAD: It is only the first week of April and summer has just set in. But a searing heat wave is sweeping across Telangana and according to the government 66 people have already fallen prey to the Sun god.
The figure released by the government is official and the actual number of deaths might be much more, indicated an official.
The most number of sunstroke deaths were reported from Mahbubnagar (28) while no death has been recorded in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts.
The figure is just an indication of the days ahead as the Met department has already issued a warning that temperatures are set to soar in the coming days. Already, the daytime temperature has crossed 40 degree Celsius in parts of Telangana and the night temperatures have also shot up by three degree Celsius above normal.
Met department officials, who predicted thundershowers during Ugadi festival, however, cautioned that there would not be much respite from the intense heatwave.
Meanwhile, parts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Adilabad, which experienced thundershowers and gales on Tuesday, recorded temperatures above 40 degree Celsius. "The respite from heatwave was just for a few hours," an official said.
The coal belt areas of Karimnagar, Khammam, Warangal and Adilabad too are experiencing a blistering heatwave. The temperatures are recording 4 to 5 degree Celsius above normal, officials said.
Meanwhile, officials at the disaster management wing said a majority of the sunstroke victims are agricultural labourers and daily wage workers who have no other option than to toil under the scorching sun.
Alarmed by the high number of sunstroke deaths, the government machinery has swung into action and is rushing ORS sachets to all Public Health Centres (PHC) for distribution to avoid dehydration. The district administrations too have launched an awareness campaign advising people to take precautions to avoid sunstroke.