Cold wave claims over 50 lives in Uttar Pradesh

January 3rd, 2009 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Jan 3 (IANS) Over 50 people have died due to the cold weather in Uttar Pradesh this week as temperatures fell sharply and thick fog engulfed several parts of India’s most populous state, an official said here Saturday.”Over 50 deaths due to the cold were recorded in hospitals across the state in the past week. Most of the victims were pavement dwellers,” a government spokesman told IANS.

The state home department has now issued orders for bonfires to be lit along roads for pavement dwellers. It has also advised the local administrations of various districts to order the closure of educational institutions due to the extreme cold.

On Friday, Agra recorded the lowest temperature of the season at 3.6 degrees Celsius, while in Lucknow it was 4.4 degrees and five degrees in Kanpur. The temperatures rose only marginally Saturday.

“The cold spell will continue for at least another week even though the temperature could rise a little over the next 24 hours,” said state meteorological department director J.P.Gupta.

Saturday witnessed a rise in the day temperature that had plummeted on Friday to this season’s lowest at 12.5 degrees Celsius in Lucknow and as low as 11 in Agra and Kanpur.

The thick blanket of fog disrupted air and rail traffic. Even on the roads vehicles moved at a sluggish pace.

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