Fog envelops Northwest, nationwide toll mounts to 55

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) Intense cold wave conditions coupled with dense fog prevailed across North India today, taking the nationwide toll to 55, with six more deaths reported in Uttar Pradesh and three in Punjab.

Uttar Pradesh reported 43 deaths this winter, Gujarat six, Himachal two and Punjab four.

The cold wave in Uttar Pradesh plunged temperatures at several places below normal. The latest deaths in the state were reported in Banda, Shahjahanpur and Bhadohi districts.

Agra was the coldest place recording the minimum temperature of three degrees Celsius. Lucknow recorded the minumum temperature of 3.6 degrees followed by Kanpur 4, Sultanpur 4.3, Varanasi 5.1, Allahabad 7.4 and Gorakhpur 7.7.

Northwest India reeled under intensified cold wave following further decline in the mercury during the past 24 hours.

Dense fog enveloped several areas, including Adampur, Bhatinda Hindon, Sirsa, Ambala, Halwara, Amritsar, Phagwara and Udhampur, reducing visibility considerably and affecting road and rail traffic.

A couple was killed and one person injured when a car carrying them collided with a mini truck in the wake of poor visibility due to fog near Beas in Amritsar district of Punjab last night.

An unidentified person was killed and more than 60 people, including women and children, were injured in different road accidents due to fog in and around Phagwara this morning, a report from Phagwara quoting police said.

Six people were injured in a truck-bus collision near Chuharwali village under Adampur police station in Jalandhar district due to poor visibility.

The minimum temperature stayed one degree to seven degrees below normal in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh Union Territory.

Ludhiana turned out the coldest place in the state recording 0.4 degrees. Amritsar registered 0.6 degrees, while Patiala recorded 2.0 degrees.

In Haryana, Ambala with 1.8 degrees was the coldest place.

Karnal recorded a minimum of 2.0 degrees while Rohtak registered 3.5 degrees and Narnaul 4.0.

Cold wave also intensified in Himachal Pradesh with people in the tribal belt facing biting chill as the minimum hovered below freezing point in tribal areas.

The entire Kangra and Kullu valleys were under the impact of intense cold wave. Bhuntar in Kullu district recorded 0.4 degrees, one degree below normal, while Sundernagar in Mandi district registered 2.0 degrees and the capital town of Shimla 4.2 degrees.

Kashmir valley continued to be in the grip of the cold wave with Srinagar recording minus 2.4 degrees and Jammu 7.5 degrees.

The chilly breeze sweeping across Delhi for the last few days intensified with the mercury plummeting to the season's lowest at 4.2 degrees.

Night temperature in Patna and its neighbouring districts continued to fall sharply due to cold westerly winds.

In Orissa, the mercury plummeted to a record three degrees at Nawana, Jenabil, Upper-Barha-Kamuda (UBK), Debasthai, Patbil and Kandadhenu areas under Simlipal Tiger Reserve (STR).

The mercury plunged to 7.6 degrees at Baripada while the district headquarters town of Mayurbhanj and Baripada emerged as one of the coldest places in the state.

Rains or snow are likely to occur at a few places in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.

Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at a few places in south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, coastal and south interior Karnataka, Lakshadweep and at isolated places in Haryana, Punjab, north coastal Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Mainly dry weather will prevail over Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Telangana and north interior Karnataka.

UNI

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