New heatwave in India has left more than 75 people dead in Bihar, east of India.

Iran Press/Asia: At least 76 people died as a blistering heatwave swept through India's eastern state of Bihar over the weekend, officials said yesterday.

Officials at the state disaster management control room said 33 people had died in Aurangabad, 31 in Gaya and 12 in Nawada districts on Saturday and Sunday, Straits Times newspaper reported.

"Most of the victims were farmers and laborers who were outdoors. The heat has been especially severe this time, with the mercury breaching 46 deg. C in certain areas in the past few days," an official said.

"It is the first time in the state that so many deaths have been reported due to heatwave in just two days," he said.

State health officials have urged people to avoid going outdoors in the afternoon and to drink lots of fluids to prevent heatstroke.

Schools in the affected areas were also ordered closed until tomorrow due to heat conditions, local media reported.

India has been experiencing a prolonged heatwave over the past three weeks that has left large parts of the country reeling at temperatures ranging from 40 to 50 deg. C.

Meanwhile, More than 100 children in the Indian state of Bihar have now been killed by a brain virus potentially linked to lychees, officials said.

Such outbreaks have happened annually during summer months in the same districts since 1995, typically coinciding with the lychee season.

More than 130 others were undergoing emergency treatment for heatstroke in various hospitals. 213/207