Cold wave continues in Northern India, claims at least 90

January 3rd, 2008 - 3:57 pm ICT by admin  

UP/New Delhi/Amritsar/Srinagar, Jan 3 (ANI): Intense cold wave conditions prevailing in North India claimed at least 90 lives across the country.
Uttar Pradesh has reported 72 deaths, Gujarat eight, Bihar and Punjab four each and Himachal Pradesh two.
Delhi recorded the season’s coldest morning with the minimum temperature plunging to 1.9 degrees Celsius, five degrees below normal yesterday.
In Uttar Pradesh, where most of the deaths were reported, temperature plunged 2-5 degrees below normal at several places.
Agra, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Meerut, Faizabad, Kanpur, Lucknow and Bareilly divisions also witnessed dip in night temperatures.
Piercing cold wave also lashed Haryana as the mercury hovered four degrees to eight degrees below normal.
Cold wave also swept mid and lower hills in Himachal Pradesh. The Kullu valley and Una in lower hills continued to be under the impact of severe cold wave.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar is freezing over with the temperature falling to seven degrees below zero.
Coupled with intense cold, Kashmir valley is also facing a dry spell compounding the problems of the people who are apprehending a severe shortage of water and electricity during winter months as the flow in valley’s rivers, streams and springs has drastically got reduced.
“We are facing lot of problems due to extreme cold. Even after taking 4-5 blankets we cannot keep ourselves warm especially during evening. Although we have heaters to keep ourselves warm but heaters work only when there is power. Most of the times there are power cuts. I wanted to buy wood, which is available at Rs 500 for a quintal. But that is also of no use because it’s wet,” said Shabir Ahmad, a resident.
In Manipur, the minimum temperature recorded was about 3.7 degrees Celsius while the maximum was about 24.2 degrees Celsius.
In Rajasthan, Churu was reeling under intense cold wave conditions with the minimum temperature plummeting to below freezing point. The normal life in Jaipur has been disrupted. It is a tough time for early starters of the day especially the school going children, bus drivers, newspaper vendors and many others due to extreme cold conditions in the morning.
“I haven’t seen such extreme cold from last many years,” said Vinod Kumar Aggarwal, a newspaper vendor.
In Amritsar, minimum temperatures dipped to minus 1.0 degrees, five degrees below normal.
Porters at the railway station burned fire to warm themselves.
Parmjit a porter, said, Every day I come from Attari to work at Amritsar Railway station even in such cold waves.
Ajay Kumar, another visitor from Jammu, said that I was not expecting this much of cold here, even more than as we feels at Jammu.
Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Amritsar, who packed himself with woolen cloths, said that as the temperature have dipped very low people here facing a tough time.
In Jalandhar, the temperature plummeted to around minus three degree Celsius.
People in various areas are facing difficulties with trains running late and traffic on roads having slowed down due to fog.
The district administration says that has taken necessary steps to help people especially the poor to brave the severe cold.
“There is extreme cold in the Jalandhar district for the last few days. We have taken blankets from the Red Cross Society in Jalandhar to help those who are in need. We regularly provide them to people who are in need,” said S.P.S Marar, Addl. Deputy Commissionor, Jalandhar.
The Meteorological office has attributed the continuing dry severe cold wave conditions to the absence of western disturbance which originates from the Mediterranean sea bringing rain and snow in most parts of northern India. (ANI)

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