Update: Heat takes 74 lives in India

NEW DELHI, Jun 11, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- A severe heat wave has claimed 74 people's lives so far in the north and Central India, news website reported here on Monday.

Temperatures in the nationa's Capital continued to rise on Monday and the mercury was expected to touch 45 degrees.

In central Indian state Madhya Pradesh, 15 people were believed to have succumbed to the heat wave sweeping the state in the last 20 days, the website reported.

The scenario is more or less similar in central Indian state Maharashtra and north Indian state Punjab. In Amritsar in Punjab, four persons died of sunstroke in the scorching heat wave. Amritsar saw mercury zoom to 47.8 degrees, eight degrees above normal.

In West Indian state Rajasthan, five people died of sunstroke in Alwar district. The five people from Naugaon in Rajgarh sub- division, had developed symptoms similar to sunstroke and later died at various hospitals and clinics. Relentless heat continued to torment people everywhere in the desert state Rajasthan.

Central Indian state Uttar Pradesh reported nine heat-related deaths, the website said.

Similar conditions were reported from another north Indian state Haryana. People prefer to stay indoors and authorities advised people not to take children out.

Most of the dead were the homeless and those working out in the sun, according to the website.