Environmental News from India:
India’s western state of Maharashtra has registered 25 deaths from heatstroke since late March, the highest toll in the past five years, with more fatalities likely elsewhere in a country sweltering in temperatures over 40°C.
Scientists have linked the early onset of an intense summer to climate change and say more than a billion people in India and neighboring Pakistan were in some way vulnerable to the extreme heat.
Many of the deaths in Maharashtra occurred in the more rural areas of India’s richest state.
“These are suspected heatstroke deaths,” Pradeep Awate, a Maharashtra health official, told Reuters.
India is the world’s second-biggest wheat producer, but the heat is set to shrivel this year’s crop after five consecutive years of record harvests.
As power demand surges, generating companies are staring at massive shortages of coal, and the government is pleading with them to step up imports.
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