Northern India reels as temperatures clear 50 degrees Celsius

A rider with scales sits upon a black horse. This depiction is represenative of a scarcity of food and famine.

 New Delhi

mg/msh (AP, AFP) – May 5, 2016

Officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that Thursday’s peak temperature was the highest on record. The previous high was 50.6 degrees Celsius (123 degrees Fahrenheit), recorded in 1956 in Alwar, also in India’s desert state, Rajasthan.

The capital, New Delhi, experienced temperatures of over 47 degrees Celsius in recent days. Demand for electricity surged in the city, which is home to around 25 million people. Hospitals in the capital also recorded several cases of heatstroke and schools announced the summer break earlier than normal.

The IMD issued a heat wave alert for the next two days in the western states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and in Madhya Pradesh in central India. The high temperatures were expected to last for some time as officials said the monsoons would only hit the southwestern coast of Kerala on June 7.…