Photos: India swelters as near-record temperatures persist

India’s annual pre-monsoon heat wave has been unusually severe this year, especially in the southeastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Near-record temperatures have persisted for weeks and the anxiously awaited monsoon rains that cool the country in early summer have not yet arrived.

A woman walks along the road with her face covered to protect herself from sun stroke on a hot summer day in Chandigarh, India, May 28, 2015. Photo by Ajay Verma/Reuters

A woman walks along the road with her face covered to protect herself from sun stroke on a hot summer day in Chandigarh, India, May 28, 2015. Photo by Ajay Verma/Reuters

Temperatures in parts of the country have soared above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, making life miserable for many of India’s 1.25 billion inhabitants and presenting serious health and infrastructure challenges to the South Asian nation.

A man sleeps under the shade of a tree in a public park in New Delhi, India, May 27, 2015. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

A man sleeps under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day at a public park in New Delhi, India, May 27, 2015. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

Due to high humidity, the heat index — a measurement of how a given temperature feels to humans — in some regions exceeded 140 degrees. The extreme temperatures have contributed to over 1,800 deaths, making the heat wave one of the deadliest on record.

A caretaker sprays water on Rajlaxshmi, a female elephant, to keep her cool inside a zoological park in New Delhi, India, May 28. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

A caretaker sprays water on Rajlaxshmi, a female elephant, to keep her cool inside a zoological park in New Delhi, India, May 28. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

A customer stands beside stacked air coolers kept for sale at a shop in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2015. Photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

A customer stands beside stacked air coolers kept for sale at a shop in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2015. Photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Heavy use of air conditioners has put excess strain on India’s electrical grid, causing power cuts in some areas, including the capital, New Delhi.

A road melt near Safdarjung Hospital after the Temperature rise to 113 degrees. Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

A road melt near Safdarjung Hospital after the Temperature rise to 113 degrees. Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Intense heat in New Delhi even caused road surfaces to melt.

Buffaloes sit in a lake on a hot summer day near Ajmer, India, May 28, 2015. Photo by Himanshu Sharma/Reuters

Buffaloes sit in a lake on a hot summer day near Ajmer, India, May 28, 2015. Photo by Himanshu Sharma/Reuters

Across the country, measures have been taken to limit fatalities.

Authorities have cancelled leave for doctors as hospitals struggle to cope with the victims of temperature-related ailments like heat stroke and heart attacks.

Men sleep on a temporary shade built over a drain next to a slum in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2015. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

Men sleep on a temporary shade built over a drain next to a slum in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2015. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

Many of the victims are the elderly and people who are forced to spend days outside in the intense heat, such as construction workers and the homeless.

Citizens have been cautioned to stay inside if possible and to drink fluids constantly.

A boy is held by his mother as he slips in the Arabian Sea at a beach in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, May 29, 2015. Photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

A boy is held by his mother as he slips in the Arabian Sea at a beach in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, May 29, 2015. Photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

The post Photos: India swelters as near-record temperatures persist appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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