Cold wave claims 22 lives in Bihar

January 4th, 2009 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Jan 4 (IANS) At least 22 people have died in Bihar in the past two days as temperatures dipped drastically due to an intense cold wave sweeping the plains of north India, officials said Sunday.The dense fog in many parts of the state since Friday night was followed Saturday by a cloudy sky and chilly winds caused by western disturbances, officials in the weather department said.

Gaya district was the coldest in the state with a minimum temperature of 6.8 degrees Celsius while the state capital recorded 7.8 degrees Celsius Saturday, the coldest day in this winter season yet.

Of the 22 people who died in the last two days, five deaths were reported from Nawada district, four from Buxar district, three in Bhojpur district and two each were reported from East Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Madhubani, and Gaya districts.

The state would witness cold wave conditions in the coming days and the temperature is likely to drop further in the next few days, weather department official S.I. Lashkar said.

The foggy conditions have affected the schedules of several trains and flights.

In view of the weather conditions, the Patna district administration ordered the schools to be kept closed till Jan 7. Most of English medium schools were scheduled to reopen on Jan 5 after winter vacations.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked district officials to light more bonfires for the homeless and distribute blankets among the poor.

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