A city in northern India has shattered the national heat record, registering a searing 51C – the highest since records began – amid a nationwide heatwave.
The new record was set in Phalodi, a city in the desert state of Rajasthan, and is the equivalent of 123.8F.
It tops a previous record of 50.6C set in 1956.
“Yesterday (Thursday) was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country … 51C in Phalodi,” said BP Yadav, a director of India’s meteorological department, on Friday.
Temperatures in northern India regularly hit the high 40s in May and June – the hottest months of the year – but topping 50C is unusual.
The record for India is thought to be 50.6C (123F), recorded in 1956 in the northern town of Alwar (pdf).
The weather office has issued warnings of “severe heat wave” conditions across large parts of India’s northern and western regions through the weekend.
Several hundred people are thought to have died during this year’s heatwave andsome areas have banned daytime cooking in order to limit the fire risk.
More than a thousand people died during a heatwave in 2015, mainly caused by dehydration in the southern part of the country.
India declares a heatwave when the maximum temperature hits 45 degrees Celsius, or five degrees higher than the average for the area in previous years.
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