India Meterological Department on Friday said a searing heat wave across North and western India had intensified with a city in the region shattering the national heat record at 51 degrees Celsius.
The Head of Department, L.S Rathore said Phalodi, in the desert state of Rajasthan, located over 600 kilometres West of New Delhi, saw the highest temperature ever recorded in the country.
The previous record was 50.6 degrees Celsius, registered in Alwar in the same state in 1956.
Meanwhile, temperatures have reached between 45 and 50 degrees Celsius during the heat wave.
Authorities issued warnings to people to avoid going out in the midday sun and to drink lots of fluids.
“It has been observed that there is a persistent increase in temperatures every year across northern, western and central India over the last 15 to 16 years. We think this is due to the global warming phenomenon, with extreme weather events a subset of this trend,” Rathore said.
Several cities and towns in Rajasthan and adjoining Gujarat state also broke records, registering temperatures above 48 degrees Celsius.
Intense conditions hitting no less than 45 degrees were reported from Delhi as well as many other states.
Hundreds of people are reported to have died because of the heat wave since April, although official figures are unavailable.
A heat wave last June killed more than 2,500 people in India and around 1,400 in Pakistan.
“The heat this year is likely to continue for another week,” Rathore said.