Twelve people were killed in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh in incidents related to lightning-strike today even as blistering heat continued in many states.
However, in some good news, MeT department announced that the Southwest Monsoon has covered the Nicobar Islands and the entire south Andaman Sea, three days ahead of its normal onset date.
But, IMD Director General K G Ramesh said it is too early to forecast whether the monsoon would hit the Kerala coast ahead of schedule. The normal onset date over Kerala, termed as the official arrival of the seasonal rainfall in India, is June 1.
Hot weather conditions prevailed in the national capital with areas under Ridge, Palam, Ayanagar and Lodhi Road recorded their maximum temperatures at 45.2 degrees Celsius 44.7 degrees Celsius, 44 degrees Celsius and 43.6 degrees Celsius respectively.
Blistering heatwave conditions continued across Haryana and Punjab.
Narnaul in Haryana was the hottest place in the region with a maximum temperature of 44.4 degrees Celsius with Hisar following closely at 44.3 degrees Celsius.
In Punjab, Patiala recorded a high of 42.4 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal, while Amritsar's maximum settled at 41.7 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal.
The mercury breached the 40-degree mark at several places in Uttar Pradesh, with Banda being the hottest at 46.8 degrees Celsius.
Lucknow recorded a maximum temperature of 44.7 degrees Celsius. Allahabad registered a high of 46 degrees Celsius, followed by 45.5 degrees Celsius in Jhansi, 44.8 degrees Celsius in Agra and 44.4 degrees Celsius in Kanpur.
Rajasthan continued to reel under blistering heat with Churu recording the highest maximum temperature in the state at 45.5 degrees Celsius.
Sriganganagar came a close second at 45 degrees Celsius followed by 44.7 degrees Celsius in Kota, 43.9 degrees Celsius in Bikaner, 43.5 degrees Celsius in Jaipur, 43.2 degrees Celsius in Pilani and 43 degrees Celsius in Barmer.
Sweltering heat intensified across Odisha as Balangir recorded 45.2 degrees Celsius to become the hottest place in the state.
The mercury breached the 45-degree mark at two places, the 43-degree mark in seven places and the 40-degree mark in at least 15 places.
Titlagarh recorded a high of 45 degrees Celsius, while the mercury shot up to 44.8 degrees Celsius in Sambalpur, 44.1 degrees Celsius in Hirakud, 43.9 degrees Celsius in both Angul and Jharsuguda and 43.5 degrees Celsius in Bhawanipatna.
Hoshangabad in west Madhya Pradesh registered a high of 45.9 degrees Celsius.
Lightning strike at a village in Anantapuramu district of Andhra Pradesh killed five persons and injuring two others.
According to state Information and Public Relations Minister Kalva Srinivasulu, nine villagers took shelter in a small shed following rain this evening.
Suddenly, lightning struck the shed killing five persons and injuring two others, the minister said.
Andhra Pradesh will witness extreme weather conditions in the next three to four days with some parts facing severe heat and some others rain or thundershowers, the State Disaster Management Authority said quoting a forecast issued by ISRO. Some parts of neighbouring Telangana continued to reel under heatwave conditions with Ramagundam recording the highest maximum temperature of 44.6 degrees Celsius.
Adilabad and Nalgonda districts recorded maximum temperatures as 44.5 degrees Celsius each, followed by 43.9 degrees Celsius in Nizamabad and 41.7 degree Celsius in Hyderabad.
In Bihar, which received light to moderate rains at a few places, seven persons, including three children, were killed and two others injured in incidents related to lightning-strike.
A mother and her minor son were killed in Gopalpur. Two persons died in Sitamarhi district and two others, including an infant, in Bhagalpur district.
In Katihar district, a thatched house caught fire after being struck by lightning killing a three year-old boy in the blaze. His mother and one-year-old daughter sustained burn injuries in the fire.
Gaya was the hottest place in the state at 42.9 degrees Celsius while Patna recorded a high of 37.4 degrees Celsius.