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 branches in the state have responded by supplying affected families with clothes and kitchen equipment. Relief in the form of rain has reached the southern state of Kerala and some parts of Andhra Pradesh, as well as Bangladesh.