Intense cold wave in UP claims 11 lives, toll goes up to 34

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New Delhi, Dec 13 (UNI) The intense cold wave in Uttar Pradesh claimed 11 more lives, taking the nationwide toll to 34 while higher reaches in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir experienced fresh snowfall and isolated places in the plains of Punjab and Haryana had rain.

The fresh casualties in Uttar Pradesh were reported from Jaunpur, Kanpur (rural) Bijnore, Agra and Hamirpur overnight.

According to the Met office, the night temperature at several divisions of the State had dipped in the last 24 hours with Lucknow and Gorakhpur recording 12 degrees Celsius each while the temple town of Allahabad recorded 13 degrees.

The district administration directed schools to open only after 0900 hrs as thick fog enveloped the capital. Several important trains, including Allahabad-bound Ganga Gomti Express and Delhi-bound Prayagraj Express, were running late.

Narnaul in Mahendergarh district turned out to be the coldest place in Haryana, recording a fall in the mercury to 6.0 degrees.

However, the minimum temperature rose at Ambala and Karnal, respectively recording 9.4 degrees and 10.6 degrees, and remained static at 9.3 degrees at Hissar.

Cold surface winds blew across Punjab where Amritsar with 5.6 degrees remained the coldest place in the state.

Cold wave conditions prevailed in many areas of Himachal Pradesh following more snow in tribal district of Kinnaur and Pangi and Bharmour areas of Chamba district.

Bhuntar in the district recorded 3.1 degrees while Sundernagar in Mandi district showed 4.2 degrees following rain. Shimla and Chandigarh recorded 1.6 degrees and 11.0 degrees respectively.

In Kashmir, Affarwat, the world's highest downhill point connected with cable car experienced four feet of fresh snowfall while at Kongdori it was two feet and world famous ski resort of Gulmarg one feet in Jammu and Kashmir.

The other upper reaches in the Kashmir valley also experienced fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours while plains, including Srinagar.

The upper reaches in the valley, including holy Amarnath cave, Shehshnag, Mahaguns, Pisso top, Yusmarg, Deksum and Ahrabal also experienced snowfall.

Meanwhile, the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was partially reopened this afternoon and stranded vehicles were allowed to move towards Kashmir.

The winter chill in the national capital abated slightly as the mercury rose to 9.7 degrees accompanied with a thick fog.

The minimum temperature recorded at 9.7 degrees was two degrees above the normal.

Rain or thundershowers are also likely to occur at a few places in south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and at isolated places in Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim.

UNI

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