Cold wave wrecks havoc in North India, affecting flights and rail services in Delhi

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 02, 2013 05:20 hrs

People across India face the wrath of dipping mercury, as the cold wave further intensified in several parts of the country with minimum temperature dropping to 4.8 degrees Celsius in the national capital Delhi.

Air and rail traffic to Delhi on Wednesday continued to be affected by heavy early morning fog with around thirty-five trains were either delayed or cancelled.

Dense fog enveloped Delhi in the morning hours affecting road and rail traffic as well as flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, partially disrupting the schedule of over 30 flights.

The Met Department predicted cold weather conditions for Wednesday, and said the conditions are likely to worsen in the days to come with the minimum temperature predicted to dip further to 2 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

On Tuesday, mercury dipped to 4 degree Celsius in Delhi making it the coldest day.

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. (ANI)

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