Cold wave sweeps north India; death toll reaches 97 in UP

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 01, 2013 06:30 hrs

People across India face the wrath of dipping mercury, as the cold wave further intensified in several parts of the country.

In Uttar Pradesh, cold wave has claimed two more lives during the past 24 hours. The toll in the state during this season has gone up to 97.

The day's maximum temperature remained 2 to 10 degrees below normal in most parts of the state.

Meanwhile, Delhites shivered as mercury plunged to the season's lowest of 4.8 degree Celsius this morning.

In the plains of Punjab and Haryana, Narnaul braved the lowest temperature with a minimum of 1.9 degree Celsius. Churu in Rajasthan also recorded a minimum temperature of 1.9 degree Celsius, 2 degrees below normal.

An unabated cold wave also swept through Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, leaving residents distressed and forcing them to stay within the confines of their houses.

A common sight was of people sitting around bonfires, wearing woollens to warm themselves.

Mahender Singh, a resident, said that the dipping mercury results in freezing of water particularly in mornings and evenings.

"It is extremely cold and the skies are clear at night, Due to snowfall, there is extreme cold here. It is difficult to step out of our houses and places at high altitudes are even worse, as water taps have also frozen," he said.

The cold wave turned to be a boon for roadside tea vendors, as people were seen sipping hot ginger tea to fight the chill.

Although not cold by the standards of Europe and North America, the drop in temperature can have a devastating effect on the hundreds of thousands of homeless people in India. (ANI)

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