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At least 37 killed in Indian heatwave

NEW DELHI, April 20, 2017 (BSS/Xinhua) - Intense heatwave has gripped India with mercury soaring to 45 degrees in some parts of the country, meteorological department officials said Thursday.

In the southern state of Telangana, at least 37 people have died due to the heatwave since the beginning of this month, India's official broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) said.

"Yesterday, severe heatwave conditions were prevailing at many places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi," a statement issued by the Indian Meteorological Department said on Thursday.

"Heatwave conditions at a few places over Vidarbha and at isolated places over Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh were recorded."

On Wednesday, the highest maximum temperature of 46.2 degrees Celsius was recorded at Chandrapur (Vidarbha) in the Maharashtra. Delhi, the capital city, recorded 44 degrees Celsius.

The local Telangana government advanced summer holidays for schools due to prevailing heatwave conditions across the state.

It has also issued an advisory to people not to venture out especially between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to avoid the severe heat.

In zoos across India, officials have put coolers in enclosures for animals in the wake of the intense heatwave.