Six more die in UP, two in Rajastan as winter freeze spreads (Roundup)

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 04, 2011 15:50 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) Stinging cold and a thick blanket of fog in some places continued to haunt people in northern India Tuesday with six more deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh and two from Rajastan.

The winter toll in Uttar Pradesh has climbed to 36 with the latest deaths Tuesday.

Three people died in Pratapgarh, two in Jaunpur and one in Barabanki Tuesday as Uttar Pradesh continued to reel under extreme cold.

Two people were killed and 12 injured in a road accident in Chaksu near Jaipur in Rajastan Tuesday when a truck crashed against a bus in the dense early morning fog, officials said.

Weather offices in various cities have forecast severe cold conditions to continue during the rest of the week.

Jammu and Kashmir towns like Leh (minus 20.2 degrees Celsius) and Kargil (minus 18 degrees) remained clodest in the region, while life in many other uphill places in Himachal Pradesh also froze in sub-zero temperatures.

Bonfires and thicker woollen pullovers have become the common man's warmers and a common sight in the planes as well. In tourist cities like Agra, even visitors prefered to stay indoors until afternoon when the day warmed up a bit.

Delhi and neighbouring cities in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajastan saw another freezing and foggy day Tuesday.

Leh in Ladakh have recorded below minus 20 degrees temperatures for days and it was minus 20.2 degrees Tuesday, a bit 'warmer' than Monday when it was minus 23.6.

Most parts of the Dal Lake in Srinagar (minus 4.1 degrees) remained frozen in the morning and flocks of migratory birds huddled together at places where some hot spring activity inside the lake prevented total freezing.

Pahalgam and Gulmarg in southern Jammu and Kashmir recorded minus 7.7 degrees and minus 9.2 degrees, according to the Met Office.

'We are not expecting any precipitation in the valley and the Ladakh region in the next couple of days and the minimum temperatures can dip further,' an official said.

Towns in Himachal Pradesh also saw sub-zero minimum Tuesday with Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district leading the dive at minus 13.4 degrees.

Shimla recorded a low of 4.6 degrees while it was the freezing point (0.0 degrees) in Solan.

It was frigid day in the national capital Delhi Tuesday as the mercury plunged eight degrees below normal giving its people the coldest day of the season at a minimum of 3.7 degrees and a maximum of 12.7 degrees.

As it was a cloudy day, the humidity remained high at a 100 percent maximum and 66 percent minimum, a Met official said.

'The chill was intolerable. I was planning to go to Connaught Place, but decided to stay back home,' said Komal Verma, a 19-year-old student.

In Agra (minimum 2.5 degrees), schools remained closed for the second consecutive day Tuesday. With the weather office indicating colder days ahead, they are not likely to reopen before Jan 10.

Shopkeepers in the city of the Taj packed up earlier in the evening for want of customers.

The night shelters reported full attendance. The Agra Municipal Corporation lit up bonfires at 42 points in the city.

Freezing conditions continued to sweep Punjab and Haryana as well. A dense cover of fog in different parts of the region affected early morning air, road and rail traffic.

According to Met officials, Narnaul town was the coldest in Haryana at a minimum of zero degree, three notches below the average. Hisar recorded 2.7 degrees and Bhiwani 2.6 degrees.

It was 6.6 degrees in Ambala and 7.4 degrees in Chandigarh.

In Punjab, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Patiala cities recorded minimum temperatures of 7, 8 and 5.2 degrees Celsius respectively.

Heavy fog delayed trains in Jaipur (minimum 2.1 degrees) in Rajastan. Mount Abu was the coldest in the state at minus 4.4 degrees.

Cities like Udaipur (4 degrees), Jaisalmer (2.4 degrees), Ajmer (3.3 degrees) and Bikaner (3.7 degrees) shivered through the day.

Lucknow (minimum 6 degrees) and other cities in Uttar Pradesh suffered chilly weather Tuesday, Churk near Mirzapur being the coldest at 0.6 degree minimum.



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