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India heat wave kills 430

A farmer walks with his cow across dry farmland on the outskirts of Bhopal, in central India.
A farmer walks with his cow across dry farmland on the outskirts of Bhopal, in central India.

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HYDERABAD, India (CNN) -- Searing temperatures have killed 430 people in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh over the last two weeks, but officials said precautions are keeping the death toll lower than last year.

D.C. Roshiah, a health official with the state government, said residents are being urged to say out of afternoon heat, which has been reaching temperatures of 116 Fahrenheit (48 C).

It is the second year in a row that drought and blazing heat have hit the state. Nineteen out of state's 23 districts are reporting heat wave deaths, with the worst hit district, East Godavari, reporting 85 deaths.

The state government has authorized a payment of 10,000 rupees (about $210) to victims' families living below the poverty line.

The state government is urging residents not to leave their houses around midday and to drink a lot of water.

Roshiah said the government's efforts were paying off because last year approximately 1,000 people died in the heat wave.


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