Lucknow, June 20 (BNA): At least 54 people have died in a district of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh over the past few days, the Times of India reported Monday, as authorities investigate whether the loss of life was caused by causes. heat wave in the region.
Local newspapers reported that 45 people had died in the neighboring state of Bihar.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert last week for extreme temperatures in some regions of the country, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The government said it was investigating the cause of the deaths, which occurred over three days last week in Palia district of Uttar Pradesh state, about 970 km southeast of New Delhi.
“There have been deaths in the district but it is very difficult to say if it is due to the heat wave,” Ravindra Kumar, the district’s chief administrative officer, told Reuters, without confirming the death toll.
“A few of the deaths are related to old age, and some are due to various causes. There is no concrete evidence of a heat wave behind these deaths.”
The government dismissed Diwakar Singh, the chief medical officer at the main government hospital in Palia, for saying the deaths were due to high temperatures.
The state’s deputy chief minister, Brajesh Pathak, said on social media that Singh had been sacked for his “irresponsible remarks”.
Temperatures have risen nearly 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in recent days in Balea with an acute energy crisis exacerbating the situation.
The Hindustan Times reported that 45 people died in Bihar due to heat-related illnesses. Officials in Patna, the capital of Bihar state, did not return calls.
While the heatwave was expected to continue in some areas on Monday, parts of India’s northeastern state of Assam were hit by floods caused by heavy rains.
“Rainfall intensity is likely to increase in Assam and other northeastern states this week. Heavy to very heavy rains are expected in many pockets this week, which could lead to floods,” a senior IMD official said.
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