New Delhi: The hot weather conditions in northern India intensified on Monday with Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar and Shimla recording their highest temperatures of the season. Down south in Telangana, the toll due to the heat wave rose to 178.
The mercury is expected to keep rising in Uttar Pradesh over the next few days but people in Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir and tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh can expect some relief from the heat, the weather office said.
The heat conditions have forced the authorities to change school timings in Lucknow.
The hottest day of the national capital coincided with a protest by taxi drivers over the Supreme Court decision to ban cabs operating on diesel and petrol.
School children and office-goers faced hardships in the scorching heat, particularly on the Delhi-Noida and Delhi-Gurgaon borders.
The maximum temperature in Delhi on Monday was 44 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal, while the minimum was 23.8 degrees, one notch below the season`s normal.
Meteorology department officials, however, said the heat wave conditions in the city were expected to come down due to rain or thunderstorm over the next few days.
They said the maximum temperature on Tuesday may hover around 40 degrees and similar pattern is expected till Friday.
In Telangana, five more deaths were reported since Sunday, taking the toll to 178 so far this season.
Nalgonda accounts for maximum number of deaths (53), followed by Mahabubnagar (33) and Medak (30).
Seventeen died in Adilabad, 15 in Karimnagar, 10 each in Khammam and Ranga Reddy, nine in Nizamabad and one in Warangal. No deaths were reported from Hyderabad, the official said.
In a tragic incident in Adilabad district, two children died of heat while crossing a forest. The boys aged 14 and eight collapsed and died while walking with their mother from one village to another on Sunday.
Many parts of the state remained in the grip of a heat wave despite rains or thundershowers at a few places. Ramagundam was the hottest place with the maximum temperature at 46.4 degrees Celsius.
Unlike Telangana, authorities in Andhra Pradesh have not been providing information with regard to the toll. Deputy Chief Minister N. Chinnarajappa had said on April 2 that 45 people died because of sun-stroke but since then, there has been no update on the number of deaths.
In Jammu and Kashmir, both Jammu and Srinagar recorded their highest temperatures of the season on Monday.
While the maximum temperature was 42.4 degrees in Jammu, it was 28.5 degrees in Srinagar.
The weather office has predicted relief from heat in Jammu and Kashmir with light to moderate rain expected in Jammu as well as in the Kashmir Valley during the next few days.
In Shimla, which also saw the season`s hottest day, the maximum temperature was 29.8 degrees Celsius, seven notches above the season`s average. The minimum was recorded at 18.8 degrees.
Una town was the hottest place in the state, recording a maximum of 43 degrees Celsius, the local Met Office said.
It said most of the prominent tourist destinations like Shimla, Dharamsala, Palampur, Manali, Kasauli, Kufri, Narkanda and Dalhousie are likely to witness intermittent rainfall till May 5, which will bring down temperatures to comfortable levels.
But no relief from heat is expected in Uttar Pradesh as hot conditions are likely to continue in the state.
On Monday, the heat wave in most parts of the state intensified, and the regional weather office said the worse was yet to come.
The mercury is likely to soar to 45 degrees Celsius at some places in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.
In view of the heat conditions, school timings in Lucknow and many other places have been rescheduled, with all the schools upto class 8 closing down by 11 a.m.
In Kolkata, the maximum temperature remained below 40 degrees Celsius on Monday. The maximum was 38.6 degrees while the minimum was 28.7 degrees.