India's heat death toll passes 1,400

Sunday, June 8, 2003

HYDERABAD, India -- Rains cooled parts of India scorched by a heat wave, but the death toll from the hot weather still rose to at least 1,438, officials reported Saturday.

Thirty-six more deaths were reported Friday in the worst-affected southern state of Andhra Pradesh, raising its toll from heat in the past three weeks to 1,317, State Relief Commissioner D.C. Roshaiah said.

Meanwhile, 11 more deaths were reported Friday in northern Uttar Pradesh state, officials said.

But rain in several parts of India brought hope that the hot spell would end soon.

Rain has fallen in southern Kerala and Karnataka states, the Press Trust of India news agency said Saturday, quoting weather official S.K. Subramanian. Several northeastern states located along the Himalayan foothills also experienced showers.

However, Andhra Pradesh state has not seen any rain yet, although a cool breeze was blowing through the state capital, Hyderabad, on Saturday.

The temperature there dropped to 106 Friday, and was expected to fall even more, officials said.

Peak temperatures in Andhra Pradesh had hovered between 113 and 120 in the past three weeks.

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