Chill, fog continue to disrupt life in Uttar Pradesh

January 5th, 2009 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Jan 5 (IANS) Biting cold and dense fog continued to disrupt normal life across Uttar Pradesh. The toll in the current cold wave rose to 65 with least 15 deaths reported since Sunday.Though there was marginal rise in the minimum temperature in most parts of the state, a thick blanket of fog and mist since late Sunday night left people shivering.

According to an official spokesman, most of those who succumbed to the cold wave were homeless.

Some more trains were cancelled on account of the fog, bringing to 15 the total number of trains cancelled on the Northern, North-Eastern and North Central Railways across Uttar Pradesh.

Not a single train, including the prestigious Shatabdi or Rajdhani express, were running even close to schedule, and most of the trains were reported to be four to 15 hours late.

Almost all flights out of Lucknow were at least a couple of hours behind schedule due to poor visibility at the airport Monday morning.

The minimum temperature, that had dipped to 4.7 degree Celsius in Lucknow Sunday, rose to 6.8 degree Monday morning. It rose to 5 in Agra, 6.8 in Kanpur, 6.7 in Meerut, 6.9 in Varanasi, 7.2 in Gorakhpur and 8.6 in Jhansi. Shahjahanpur was the coldest in the state with the minimum temperature at 4.8 degree Celsius.

The intense cold conditions were attributed to snowfall in neighbouring Uttarakhand, leading to substantial fall in the day temperatures across the Indo-Gangetic plains spanning a large part of Uttar Pradesh.

Predicting a partially overcast sky, weather officials did not hold out hope of much respite from the cold over the next two days at least. “Fog and mist will continue to envelop the state for at least the next 48 hours, thereby keeping the day temperature below normal in most places,” state meteorological department director J.P. Gupta told IANS Monday.

District officials said while the administration had already ordered closure of secondary level schools up to Jan 7, this could be extended in case the cold wave persists.

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