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Seven people die in the worst heat wave ever recorded in Argentina

The mercury rose to 45C in northern provinces of the country

At least seven people have died in the worst heat wave in Argentina since records began.

The Government has declared a state of emergency as temperatures rose to over 45C in Santiago del Estero, where the victims lived, and other northern provinces in the country.

Hundreds of people had to be assessed by medical professionals, with doctors warning people to shelter indoors during the hottest hours of the day.

The intense heat has been exacerbated by power cuts and water shortages which have lasted for two weeks in some parts of Buenos Aires.

Many people have therefore been left unable to cool down using air conditioning.

Businesses including ice cream parlours which would otherwise benefit from a heatwave have lost their stock due to the electrical blackouts.

While the Government blames energy shortages on the extreme weather, the opposition accuses it of mismanaging the crisis.

Residents have set fire to rubbish bags and tyres on roads in protest at the lack of services that they say they are entitled to as taxpayers.

It is alleged the electricity shortages are a consequence of under investment in the country's electrical network.

Heat waves were also seen in other parts of the world in 2013, including the UK and the US.

In June, temperatures in California's Death Valley soared to 54C, just short of the 56C world record.