Lucknow: A sudden and steep rise in day temperatures has sent people of Uttar Pradesh scurrying for cover.

With the mercury soaring past 40 degree Celsius, the met department has predicted a harsh week ahead.

The temperature rise has taken people aback as April was slightly cooler, and in the past one week dust storms at night had made temperatures bearable.

According to the met office, most cities in the state were experiencing a steep rise in temperatures, with mercury on an average touching more than 40-plus at places like Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi, Unnao, Lucknow, Allahabad, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Orai, Etawah, Mainpuri and Mirzapur.

With warm winds blowing across the city, afternoons present a deserted look as most people prefer remaining indoors. For the ones who have to step out, it is a harrowing experience.

"I work for a courier company, where time and the heat are irrelevant but yes it is very hot," said a hapless Sanjeev Kumar, a delivery boy with a courier company. Most traffic posts in the afternoon are without policemen as they prefer to sit in tree shade leaving the messy traffic to fend for itself.

Hospitals in the state have also started registering a large number of patients suffering with diarrhea, vomiting, cholera and gastro issues, said a doctor at the Chatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Medical College here.

Power cuts have also made life miserable for people in many parts of the state, with outages spreading across four-five hours. The heat wave has also affected the visitors at the Prince of Wales zoo in here, according to officials.

"With this heat, one cannot expect visitors to roam around," said an official, while pointing out that even animals of the zoo prefer staying indoors in the scorching summer.

Major tourist spots in the city, including the Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Park, also bear a deserted look throughout the day. Once a bustling spot for couples, there are hardly any visitors to these places now, said a security guard. The weather department has forecast harsher times ahead for the state as the mercury is likely to touch 45-plus.

(Agencies)

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