Hot weather kills 80 in south India

An Indian vendor sells drinking water at a railway platform Image copyright EPA
Image caption Authorities have urged people to drink plenty of fluids

At least 80 people have died of heatstroke in the south Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Temperatures in the states have risen as high as 45C and customary April rains have been delayed.

State officials have said however, that the state was not suffering from a heatwave as there was no "abnormality" in temperature for this time of year.

Over 2,000 people are estimated to have died in a heatwave that swept the two states last year.

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Media captionIndia heatwave

Disaster management officials told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that the combined death toll from both states as of Thursday evening was over 80, and was likely to top 100 over the weekend.

State officials have advised people not to expose themselves to the sun between the hours of 12:00 and 16:00.

But weather officials said that temperatures needed to rise by at least 5C before a heatwave could be declared in the states.

"So far there are no such indications. The temperature here is the standard 40C to 42C. The only change is that thundershowers that generally occur during this time of year have not materialised," said Narasimha Rao, director of the meteorological department in Hyderabad, capital of Telangana.

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