13 more die as freezing winter marches on (Roundup)January 9th, 2011 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Winter continued its relentless onslaught in the north Sunday, claiming 13 more lives in Uttar Pradesh and taking the toll in the state to 82. People shivered as temperatures nose-dived in all major cities. For Delhi it was the coldest day in five years.
The poor and the homeless in the northern cities suffered one of the severest days of the season as even bonfires and makeshift shelters failed to keep out the bone-freezing cold.
Uttar Pradesh authorities were looking for more relief measures for the shelterless as the death toll reached 82.
Five deaths were reported from the border town of Maharganj Sunday, four from Barabanki and one each in Deoria, Firozabad, Hardoi and Basti.
Chandigarh and many neighbouring cities continued to be under heavy morning fog and the airport remained shut for the fifth straight day.
Upper Himalayan towns reported fresh snow falls and suz-zero temperatures even as people in the plains left to the mercy of chilly winds.
The maximum temperature in Delhi Sunday was 11 degrees, 10 degrees below average, forcing people to remain indoors.
According to the met office, Sunday was the coldest day in the city in the last five years. The freezing Himalayan winds made the day even worse for the people.
Early morning fog took toll on flight schedules at the Delhi airport. According to its official website, about a dozen flights were delayed.
Air passengers in Chandigarh had another harrowing day. The airport’s instrument landing system (ILS) has been lying defunct for the past many months, according to an airport source. Though a new ILS has been installed it has not started working yet, he said.
Long distance trains from Chandigarh were also affected by fog.
Fresh snow fell on the hill towns in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The Met departments have forecast more snow and continuing cold wave conditions.
Authorities allowed one-way traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway due to the slight improvement in the weather in south Kashmir areas. The road was closed to traffic Saturday.
Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh capital, reeled under a cold wave as the minimum temperature was 1 degree, down by 2.1 degrees from Saturday.
Agra was the coldest city in Uttar Pradesh at 0.6 degrees, while all the other major cities remained below 5 degrees.
A brief sunny spell at noon saw hundreds of people in Lucknow rushing outdoors, but the cold returned by evening.
The cold wave also lashed across Rajastan where Bikaner, the desert city, recorded 1.4 degrees, 10 degrees below the average. It was 3.8 degrees at Jaisalmer.
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Tags: air passengers, barabanki, chilly winds, cold wave, coldest day, delhi airport, dozen flights, fresh snow, hardoi, himachal pradesh, instrument landing system, jammu and kashmir, makeshift shelters, met office, morning fog, neighbouring cities, northern cities, relief measures, wave conditions, zero temperatures