HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Soaring summer temperatures in India have left over 1,100 people dead over the past month, officials said Wednesday.
Most of the deaths have been reported in the southeastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.
More than 852 people have died from the stifling heat in Andhra Pradesh since May 13, a government statement said. In neighboring Telengana 266 have died from heat-related causes, Bhambal Ram Meena, a top official in the disaster management department, said.
An Indian worker throws water outside a restaurant in Amritsar on May 26, 2015, in an attempt to keep the pavement cool on a hot day. (NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)
Over the last two days temperatures in both states have reduced marginally but continue to hover near 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
Public announcements have urged people to drink water and try and avoid going outdoors during the hottest hours of the day.
Indian men sleep in the shade under a bridge in New Delhi on May 27, 2015. (Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)
Hot, dry winds have also swept across New Delhi and most parts of north and central India. In the cities, large crowds of office workers gather around stalls selling cold fruit drinks and iced water.
Weather officials say the sweltering temperatures are likely to continue for at least another week. Monsoon rains, expected to arrive in the southern state of Kerala in the first week of June, should bring some respite. The monsoon season runs through September as the rains gradually cover the entire country.
An Indian court has sentenced Bollywood star Salman Khan to five years in jail for killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run driving incident in Mumbai.
The man was among five people who were run over in the incident. The actor wascharged with culpable homicide.
Khan had said his driver was behind the wheel, but the judge said the actor was driving the car and was under the influence of alcohol at the time.Legal experts expect the actor to appeal against the verdict.
Khan's lawyers have already applied for bail in the Bombay high court which is expected to hear the case shortly, reports say. The actor remains in the trial court while his fate is being decided.
Correspondents say the guilty verdict is a huge setback for Khan although he could have been jailed for 10 years.
The actor is one of Bollywood's biggest stars, appearing in more than 80 Hindi-language films. Several of his films, including Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun, have been huge commercial hits.