Record Heat Mars Last Day Of India's Polls

High temperatures during elections in the world's largest democracy have claimed the lives of 33 polling staff, one voter

Record Heat Mars Last Day Of India's Polls

Record temperatures in India have marred the last stage of polls in the country, with heatstroke claiming the lives of 33 polling agents on the final day.

India's top electoral body on Saturday said that at least 33 Indian polling staff had died in Uttar Pradesh. India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that temperatures in the Jhansi district rose to as high as 46.9 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

The electoral body said that the seven-stage polls in India came to a close on Saturday. While attention now turns towards vote counting and the results, with exit polls showing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was likely to secure a third term, there was a cloud on the electoral activity due to the heat-related deaths. Among those who perished were security guards, sanitation staff and some polling staff.

Indian authorities have announced that families of the victims will be provided INR1.5 million each.

In a separate incident, at least one voter, waiting in a queue in the city of Ballia, had fainted due to heat-related effects. The voter had to be rushed to a health facility, where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival. They explained that dehydration caused by intense heat causes the blood in the body to thicken and organs to shut down.

India and Pakistan have been braving a heatwave over the past week. Temperatures in some parts of Pakistan this past week soared past 52 degrees Celsius, making it among the hottest places to live on Earth.