At least 96 people died in two of India’s most populous states over the last several days, with swaths of the country reeling from a sweltering heat wave.
The deaths happened in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and eastern Bihar where authorities warned residents over 60 and others suffering various maladies to stay indoors during the daytime.
All the fatalities in Uttar Pradesh, totaling 54, were reported in Ballia district, some 300 kilometers southeast of Lucknow, the state capital. Authorities found out most of those who passed away were over 60 years old and had preexisting health conditions, which may have been exacerbated by the intense heat.
Due to the gravity of the situation, authorities canceled leave applications of medical personnel in Ballia and provided additional hospital beds in the emergency ward to accommodate the influx of patients.
Officials said most of the admitted patients are aged 60 and above, exhibiting symptoms of high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulties and heart-related issues.
In April, the heat caused the death of 13 people at a government event in India’s financial capital of Mumbai and prompted some states to close all schools for a week.