New Delhi, Jan 22 (UNI) Cold wave intensified its icy grip on North India today with the mercury dropping below zero degree in parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir and Punjab as three more deaths took the nationwide toll in the season to 137.
In North Kashmir, Army troops rescued eight members of a family from a snow avalanche in Machil sector, where three soldiers were buried last week after the area experienced more than 10 feet of snowfall.
Pilani and Ganganagar of Rajasthan saw the minimum temperature dropping below freezing point while Churu and Mount Abu reported zero degree.
The mercury nosedived at Saharanpur district of UP where at least three people died due to cold wave in the last 24 hours.
Other places in UP also recorded considerable dip in mercury due to the icy winds in the last couple of days.
Clouds enveloped the state capital of Lucknow, which has been experiencing nipping cold over the past week.
The cold wave sweeping Delhi over the last few days intensified with the mercury dropping to 2.6 degrees, five degrees below normal.
With the cold Northwesterly winds continuing to blow through the air in the capital, the minimum temperature, continuing its downwards movement since Sunday, fell to 2.6 degrees C.
People groaned under piercing cold wave in Punjab as the night temperatures further dipped, hovering five degrees to six degrees below normal. Adampur recorded minus five degrees.
Jalandhar, recorded the coldest night in the last three decades.
A severe cold wave also lashed Haryana where the minimum hovered three degrees to seven degrees below normal, plummeting to minus 0.3 degrees at Karnal, 0.5 degrees at Narnaul, 1.2 degrees at Ambala and 3.3 degrees at Hissar.
Cold wave also hit Himachal Pradesh with tribal districts of Lahaul spiti and Kinnaur and Pangi valley and Bharmour area in Chamba district experiencing harsh conditions.
Una in lower hills recorded minus 3.0 degrees, Sundernagar in Mandi district 0.3 degrees and Bhuntar in Kullu district reported 2.3 degrees.
A biting cold wave also swept Shimla and its adjoining areas with the night temperature staying minus 0.6 degrees celsius in the capital town.
Chandigarh and its adjoining areas in Punjab and Haryana were also under the impact of cold weather conditions.
People in the Kashmir valley continued to shiver after maximum temperature also dipped to minus two degrees below normal while night remained cold with minus 5.4 degrees recorded this morning.
Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia and nearby Kargil also reeled under severe cold with maximum and minimum dipping to 10 degree to 17 degree below normal.
Winter in Patna city and its vicinity continued to linger, with the minimum temperature being recorded at 6.8 degrees against yesterdays 10.6 degrees.
UNI Team SB AT HT1909