NEW DELHI, May 2 (Xinhua) -- The heat wave and soaring temperature since late April are believed to have claimed 78 lives in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, but government is yet to confirm the figure, local hospital sources said on Saturday.
However, officials in the State Revenue Control Room in Bhubaneshwar, the state capital of Orissa, put the official figure of heat wave-caused deaths at 18, though they admitted an overall number of 78 deaths in last week due to various reasons.
"Twenty-four cases of reported deaths were due to other reasons. Reports are awaited in other cases of death due to suspected sunstroke," a State Revenue Control Room official told Xinhua on phone.
The local weather bureau had earlier warned the state government that the heat wave condition was likely to prevail for at least 48 hours in interior parts of the entire state in late April.
Sambalpur in Orissa has recorded the highest temperature of 46.2 degrees Celsius, followed by Talcher of 46.1 degree Celsius.
Officials in the Indian Meteorological Office here in New Delhialso confirm reports from various parts of Orrisa that in the last one week, the mercury was above 45 degrees Celsius in several areas of Orissa.