Intense cold claims several lives across North India

Intense cold claims several lives across North India

Intense cold coupled with dense fog played havoc in north India on Monday, claiming at least four lives, and affecting road, rail and air traffic.

A thick blanket of fog disrupted normal life in vast swathes of north India, including Uttar Pradesh, where three people were killed and several others injured in separate road accidents in Badaun and Barabanki districts due to low visibility.

Cold-related incidents have so far killed 60, while reports of 10 more deaths coming from different parts of the state in the past 24 hours. Bijnore was the coldest place with 1.5 degrees Celsius. The state capital of Lucknow has also been experiencing severe cold-wave conditions, with the mercury plummeting to 4.9 degrees. The winter chill also prompted advance closure of schools in Uttar Pradesh and many other parts of north India. UP Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered the closure of all schools up to 12th standard till December 28.

Flight operations were virtually paralysed in many airports: In Jaipur, where 10 flights including four international services were delayed, while no flight could take off from the Amausi international airport in UP. Train services were also affected largely across north India, with more than 70 running behind schedule by several hours, causing great inconvenience to passengers.

Intense cold conditions also continued in Rajasthan, with the mercury dropping at several places, and claiming one life in Jaipur.  Fatehpur in Rajasthan's Sikar district recorded a minimum temperature of 0.5 degree Celsius, followed by Mount Abu (2 degrees) , Pilani (3.8 degrees) and Churu (4.2 degrees). Jaipur recoded a minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celsius. A street-beggar in his 30s was found dead outside Ganesh temple in the Chandpole Gate area on Monday morning due to cold weather conditions, said the police. Mount Abu was the coldest place in Rajasthan with a low of 2 degrees Celsius.

The Kashmir Valley continued to experience dry and cold weather on the second day of “Chillai-Kalan”, the 40-day period of harshest winter, as the minimum temperatures remained below the freezing point, with slight respite at some places.
Punjab and Haryana have been experiencing extreme cold too, with the day temperatures in capital city Chandigarh being recorded less than even hill stations like Shimla for the last two days. The minimum temperatures there have been ranging from 2 to 5 degrees Celsius.

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