THE northern city of Phalodi, in the desert state of Rajasthan, has recorded the highest temperature in the country with the mercury rising to a searing 51 Celsius (123.8F).
According to India’s meteorological department, the previous high was 50.6C (123 F), reached in 1956 in the city of Alwar, also in Rajasthan.
During the dry season, in which the hottest months are May and June, temperatures regularly reach 40C and above in northern India, but rarely do they break 50C.
The record-breaking temperature comes at the height of India’s current heat wave, which has left some parts of the country in severe drought.
Over 300 lives have been lost due to the drought, many due to accidental fires breaking out in villages and shantytowns, which led to a ban in daytime cooking last month. In June 2015, a raging heatwave in southern India killed over 2,200 people.
Indian authorities have issued a severe heat wave alert for the next two days across large parts of the country, which can expect temperatures of 47C or higher.
Additional reporting by Associated Press