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India: Millions continue to suffer in Rajasthan drought

by Pooja Saxena in Delhi
A group of children wait patiently on the street for a vehicle carrying water, seemingly unaware of the hot sand under their bare feet. It is a common sight in Rajasthan, now experiencing its fifth consecutive year of drought.

The water table in most of this north-western Indian state has fallen by 35 metres from its normal level and people can no longer depend on ground water. Water from the government-laid network of water pipelines is rarely used for drinking as rusty metal dust and the taste of the water make it unfit for consumption.

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India Appeal No. 01.54/2003 Programme Update No. 1

Appeal no. 01.54/2003; Appeal target: CHF 13,067,443 (USD 8,945,708 or EUR 8,868,215); Budget revised to CHF 12,862,905 Programme Update No. 1; Period covered: January to June, 2003
The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 180 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org

In Brief

Appeal coverage: 90.7%; please

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Bangladesh + 2 others
Indian heat wave claims almost 2,000 lives

Federation News 12/03
Delayed monsoon rains have brought some respite to South Asian communities reeling under an intense heat wave that has claimed more than 1,900 lives across India, 70 in Pakistan and 40 in Bangladesh in the past three weeks.

Temperatures have climbed as high as 50 degrees Celsius, some 10 degrees higher than normal. The worst hit Indian state has been Andhra Pradesh, in the south, where over 1,300 people have perished, and where brush fires have affected virtually every district, depriving many people of their homes and belongings.

Indian Red Cross district

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Swollen rivers add to India's flood woes, even as heatwave claims more lives

NEW DELHI, June 11 (AFP) - Waters from swollen rivers in neighbouring Nepal have begun gushing into India's eastern hinterlands raising flood fears, officials said Wednesday, even as the death toll from a heatwave searing southern parts of the country rose further.

Despite the cooling influence of pre-monsoon rains across the country, an official in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh said Wednesday nine people had died in Krishna district, bringing the toll in the state to 1,421 and the national toll to 1,533.

"Pre-monsoon showers have started

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India: Rains moving into India quickly despite delay, flood warning issued

NEW DELHI, June 10 (AFP) - While the monsoon arrived late in India, it is moving in more quickly than expected, bringing relief from a savage heatwave that has killed about 1,500 people, said weather officials, who Tuesday also began issuing flood warnings.

Despite the cooling influence of the rains, officials in the state of Andhra Pradesh reported the deaths of another 11 people from heat-related ailments, bringing the toll in the state to 1,412 and the national toll to 1,524.

The officials said the latest deaths

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Rain cools off heat-struck Indian region

NEW DELHI, June 10 (Reuters) - Pre-monsoon showers have at last brought down temperatures in a region of India where more than 1,400 people have died in a severe heat wave, meteorologists said on Tuesday.

A pre-monsoon breeze blew in Hyderabad, capital of the worst-hit state of Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday morning after the three-week heat wave in which temperatures rose as high as 49 degrees Celsius (120.20 Fahrenheit).

They have since dropped by four to eight degrees Celsius and in Hyderabad dipped to 39C (102.2F) after 0.4 mm of rain fell on Monday.

Reuters - AlertNet:



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After killer heatwave, lethal storms begin in India

NEW DELHI, June 9 (AFP) - Following an intense heatwave that claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people, killer storms linked to the onset of monsoon rains have begun wreaking havoc in parts of India, officials said Monday.

While northern parts of the country were still sizzling, monsoon rains and pre-monsoon showers were cooling some of the worst-affected areas, especially southern Andhra Pradesh state where 1,401 have died of heat-induced ailments since mid-May, a weather official said.

The changing conditions also brought

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Rains arrive but most of India still in grip of killer heatwave

by Elizabeth Roche

NEW DELHI, June 6 (AFP) - Another 46 people have died in a heatwave that has scorched India for the past three weeks, officials said Friday, even as rains began drenching some northeastern and southwestern regions.

The latest deaths occurred in furnace-like Andhra Pradesh, bringing the death toll in the southern state to 1,281 and the overall toll in India to 1,393.

Weather officials reported limited showers in parts of southwestern Kerala state but cautioned that the rains were not the much awaited monsoons, which have been delayed by at least a week.

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India: Heat Wave Information Bulletin No. 1

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocated: N/A
The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 180 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org

In Brief

This document is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking any funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

Several areas in the northern and southern

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UNICEF responds to heat wave in India

NEW DELHI, 6 June 2003 - Severe heat wave conditions in several coastal south districts of Andhra Pradesh and adjoining coastal districts of north Tamil Nadu since 20 May and interior parts of Orissa since 27 May are imperiling the lives of people in the region. Heat wave conditions have also developed in parts of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Rajsthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. The maximum temperature recorded in Andhra Pradesh was 47.5 degree centigrade at Gannavaran in East Godavari district on 22
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First monsoon rains bring hope of relief from killer heatwave in India

NEW DELHI, June 5 (AFP) - India received its first monsoon showers Thursday in the remote northeast region, officials said, bringing hopes of relief from a devastating heat spell that has killed at least 1,347 people.

Weather officials said isolated monsoon rains occurred in parts of five northeastern states -- Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh -- and warned of heavy showers in the next 48 hours.

"Yes, we have had the first monsoon showers in the northeast," said S.K. Subramanium, deputy director

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India: Heat Wave OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2003/0090
OCHA Situation Report No.1
India - Heat Wave
Occurred on 20 May 2003

This report is based on information provided by the UNDP Office in India as well as media reports.

I. SITUATION

1. Severe heat waves have affected large parts of India for the past three weeks. The affected states are Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. However, according to news reports, the southwest monsoon arrived in India today, a few days behind schedule,

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Desert state on drought alert as Indian heatwave turns savage

by Sangeeta Sharma

JODHPUR, India, June 4 (AFP) - India's Rajasthan was among the country's hottest states Wednesday as a savage heatwave swirled through the deserts here, prompting the region to brace for its fifth-straight year of drought.

The sprawling state, nestling in the Thar desert, also posted India's highest temperatures on Wednesday as the mercury zoomed to 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 degree Fahrenheit) in one of its arid districts, officials said in burning Jodhpur.

The mercury was jammed at 47 degrees

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Death toll mounts as poverty forces India's poor to work in blazing heat

by Savitri Choudhury

NALGONDA, India, June 4 (AFP) - Ramulamma hobbles out of her thatch hut to pay a final, tearful farewell to her rickshaw driver husband, yet another victim of the heat wave that has already killed 1,065 people in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The 45-year-old widow wants to join her husband's funeral procession in Nalgonda, a town about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Andhra Pradesh state capital Hyderabad, but every step is an ordeal.

Ramulamma has been fighting a losing

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Indian heatwave toll soars to 1,100, towns and villages parched

by Pratap Chakravarty

NEW DELHI, June 3 (AFP) - Searing heat that has already killed close to 1,100 people continued to smother India Tuesday, raising the spectre of a fearsome drought like one last year that crippled life across the country's vast agricultural plains.

Temperatures on Tuesday peaked at the season's highest, 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), in the Indian capital of 14 million people, already in the vice-grip of water and power shortages.

Unrelenting heat killed another 45 people in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, taking to 1,065 the death

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