igh temperatures and a crippling shortage of rainfall in India is forcing schools to close and communities to ration drinking water. In Chennai, the oppressive heat currently gripping the southern Indian city has led to workers demanding an allowance for working in stifling factories and vets offering advice on caring for pets to avoid dehydration. “While some rains would have been a blessing in disguise, the rain gods have ditched Chennai,” writes a reporter for Skymet, which provides weather forecasts in India.

It would have been hard to imagine such a situation four-and-a-half months ago. Following the heaviest rainfall in more than a century at the end of last November, the Adyar river – which runs through the centre of Chennai – surged, causing muddy water to pour over the walls of nearby apartment blocks and into the streets. Thousands were forced to flee their homes, and hundreds died. FULL REPORT