Delhi sizzles as temperatures cross 45C


It's common to see Indians using umbrellas to shield from the heat. Getty Images

By Cherylann MollanMumbai, May 20: Northern India, including the capital Delhi, is reeling under a fierce heatwave with temperatures soaring above 45C over the weekend.

On Sunday, Najafgarh district in Delhi recorded a temperature of 47.8C, the highest in the country this season.

The weather department has said the heat spell is likely to continue this week.

The searing heat comes as India is holding its general election, the results of which will be declared on 4 June.

Civic authorities sprayed water on a street in Jaipur city to provide relief from the heat. Getty Images

Indian summers, which extend from March to September, are usually hot and humid.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said the country is likely to experience longer and more intense heatwaves this year.

On Saturday, temperatures crossed 45C in 10 locations in the National Capital Region (NCR), which encompasses Delhi and some districts from the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.

The IMD has predicted that maximum temperatures in Delhi and other northern cities are likely to hover around 45-46C over Monday and Tuesday.

It has also predicted a fresh heat spell over parts of western and central India over the next few days.

The weather department has said that the heat spell is likely to continue through the week. Getty Images

Commuting becomes especially challenging during the hot summers. Getty Images

Many Indian states, reeling under the heatwave, are also going to the polls this week.

On Monday, millions of voters will cast their votes in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar while Delhi will vote on 25 May.

The elections are being held in seven phases from 19 April to 1 June.

Many voters have expressed discomfort stepping out in the extreme heat. They say it's difficult standing in queues, especially for senior citizens.

India's election authorities have extended voting timings and have asked people to protect themselves against the heat while going to vote.

Several parts of the country experience water shortages during summer. Getty Images

Greenpeace activists set up an ice sculpture in Delhi to highlight the impact of heatwaves across the country. Getty Images

Summers have always been gruelling in many parts of India - especially in the northern and central regions.

Summers are particularly challenging for street vendors and India's poor and homeless. Getty Images

While some people use air-conditioners and water coolers to keep themselves cool, others, especially in the more distant towns, have devised their own ways of coping with the heat - from keeping water cool in earthen jugs to taking drinks made with raw mango pulp to ward off heat strokes.

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