North-West under severe cold wave, death toll reaches 134

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (UNI) People continued to shiver under biting cold wave in many parts of north-west India today with the night temperatures touching minus 3.0 degrees Celsius at Adampur in Punjab, while another life was lost in Gujarat, taking the toll to 134.

The nationwide toll due to cold wave conditions stands at 134 with 85 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, 21 in Jammu and Kashmir, ten each in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat and four each in Bihar and Punjab.

Adampur, near Jalandhar, was the coldest place in the plains, while piercing cold wave swept Amritsar with the minimum dipping to minus 1.0 degrees in the holy city. Parts of Haryana also reeled under cold wave with the temperature hovering one degree to five degrees below normal.

Most parts of Saurashtra-Kutch region of Gujarat continued to be in the grip of a severe cold wave, that claimed one life. Nalia in Kutch district was the coldest town in the region, registering a minimum temperature of 1.6 degrees.

In Himachal Pradesh, freezing cold wave conditions prevailed in the tribal areas following fresh snowfall in the higher reaches of the state last night. The mercury hovered around minus ten degrees to minus 20 degrees below normal in the tribal areas where natural water sources and ponds have already frozen.

A severe cold wave also swept Shimla and its adjoining areas with the night temperature dropping to minus 2.2 degrees in the capital town as compared to zero degree recorded yesterday following clear sky after recording heavy snowfall in the mid and lower hills and rains in the lower parts of the state due to the Western Disturbance (WD) a few days ago.

The minimum temperatures at several places in the mid and lower hills of the tribal district had plummeted between minus 25 and minus 40 degree, throwing normal life out of gear.

Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, recorded the coldest night of the season so far after the minimum dipped to minus 27 degrees while night in the Kashmir valley become colder, partially freezing parts of world famous Dal Lake this morning. The day also was cold as the maximum was recorded minus 13.5 degrees.

The nearby Kargil also recorded coldest night with minimum temperature dipping to minus 21.5 degrees while the maximum was also minus 10.5 degrees, badly affecting normal life. However, majority of people in both Drass and Kargil remained indoor owing to Muharram holiday.

After ''unusually warm'' conditions last week, Delhi was back to ''shivery'' weather conditions with the mercury plummeting to 3.8 degrees, four degrees below normal. The cold winds in the city caused people to shiver for the second day in succession.

Icy northern winds made the mercury plummet to 1.5 degrees at Naugaon in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur district, while the world-renowned tourist destination Khajuraho recorded 2.7 degrees last night with most parts of the state in the grip of a coldwave.

The denizens in Patna and its neighbourhood experienced a comparatively cold climate as mercury came down two degrees against yesterday's 23 degrees. The maximum temperature was recorded at 21 degrees and minimum at 10.6 degrees.

The people of Kolkata woke up to a partly cloudy sky and foggy morning thus making the weather pleasant throughout the day. Manipur too remained cold with the minimum temperature around 4.3 degrees while the maximum was about 24.6.

Cold wave conditions also prevailed in parts of west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and southwest Rajasthan, and at isolated places in east Uttar Pradesh, coastal Saurashtra, Rayalseema and north interior Karnataka.

Mainly dry weather prevailed in Sub Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Orissa, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.

UNI TEAM SHB RK1858

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