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At least 31 dead amid Indian heat wave

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India - The death toll from India's annual heat wave has increased to 31, with meteorologists saying temperatures may start to ease within the next week. All of the official deaths reported so far this year have occurred in the eastern state of Orissa, where on Sunday (May 10) the meteorological department recorded temperatures as high as 114.1 degrees Fahrenheit (45.6 degrees Celsius) in the western town of Sambalpur, the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) reported. Many towns across the western half of the state recorded several consecutive days of temperatures above 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius), according to IANS, but meteorologists expect rain to fall in the region on Tuesday (May 12) and Wednesday (May 13), which should bring temperatures down. Officials in Orissa have investigated 113 deaths since mid-March related to the heat, but only 31 have been confirmed as heat stroke, CNN reported. The latest figure is up from 23 deaths in the state reported in late April. Neighboring Jharkhand state has also been severely affected by the heat wave in recent days, but no deaths have been reported. Heat waves kill dozens of people across South Asia each summer, which typically runs from April to June, when the annual monsoon season arrives and cools temperatures. The hot weather usually peaks in mid-May. At least 137 people were killed during last summer's heat wave in India. In 2007, about 150 were killed, mostly in June. Pakistan is also enduring above-normal temperatures, with weather officials warning that severe heat and dry weather are likely to affect parts of Punjab, Sindh and North West Frontier Provinces throughout this week, Pakistan-based The News reported.