Massive heatwave continues to sweep across India

Last updated at 07:24
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Ayshah reports on India's heatwave

A massive heatwave has swept across India and more than 1,100 people have died in the past week, officials have said.

Although temperatures have fallen slightly in the worst-hit states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, they continue to hover around 45C.

Weather officials say rain showers in the coming days should bring some relief.

Indian men cover their body to protect against the heatwave in gauribidanur village, doddaballapur district, close to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh border on 26 May 2015EPA
The authorities are advising people to cover up when they go out in the sun

Temperatures in some areas reached almost 50C in the past week.

An Indian woman walks with an umbrella on a hot summer day in Hyderabad on May 26, 2015.AFP
Umbrellas are being used to shelter from the Sun, rather than rain

Hospitals are on alert to treat patients suffering from heatstroke and authorities have advised people to stay indoors.

The majority of those hurt are people who have been exposed to the Sun directly, including construction workers, elderly or homeless people.

A farmer sits in his dried up land in gauribidanur village, doddaballapur district, close to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh border on 26 May 2015EPA
There are fears that some of the worst-affected states could be hit by drought

Weather officials say the heatwave is due to a lack of rain and there are fears that some of the worst-affected states could be hit by drought - a severe shortage of water.

Heavy rain is expected in the southern state of Kerala at the end of May, before it sweeps across the country.

What is a heatwave?

Indian children play in a pond near India Gate amid soaring temperatures in New DelhiAFP/Getty Images
Indian children play in a pond in the capital Delhi on Wednesday to cool off
  • A heatwaves is a period of exceptionally high temperatures.
  • They usually occur in India between March and June.
  • Longer, more severe heatwaves are becoming more common across the world.
  • Intense heat can cause serious health problems.
  • Thousands of people died across India during heatwaves in 2002 and 2003.
  • Sources: National Disaster Management Authority of India and BBC