Mercury plunges to sub-zero levels; 24 people die in UP

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TNN | Jan 9, 2013, 06.29 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Kanpur and Agra shivered at a low of 1.1 and 1.0 degree below the freezing point as the mercury plunged to sub-zero levels across north India and killed 24 people in Uttar Pradesh since Monday. This mounted the dead toll from the cold snap this season to over 200.

Police said five people each died in Unnao and Barabanki; three each in Mahoba and Chitrakot; two each in Deoria, Lalitpur and Mau besides one each in Firozabad and Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where Lucknow recorded the second lowest temperature in 49 years with a low of minus 0.2 degree C. The lowest ever temperature - minus 1.0 - was recorded in the city on January 31, 1964.

The cold wave had earlier forced closure of all schools up to class XIII till January 12 in Uttar Pradesh that has reported maximum cold-related deaths - 199 - this season.

A Met official said minimum temperatures have been three-eight degrees below normal and that there would be no respite from the chilly winds in coming days even as density of fog would reduce.

Elsewhere in the region, thick fog disrupted air, rail and road traffic. Almost all trains were running late while all flights from Chandigarh were cancelled.

In Haryana, Narnaul recorded a low 0.7 degree C, up from the season's lowest of minus 3.0 a day earlier. Bhiwani was the coldest place in the state with minimum temperature of 0.5 degree C.

In neighboring Punjab, Bathinda shivered at a low of just 0.2 degree C. Adampur and Patiala recorded 1.8 and 2.1 degree C.

Churu continued to be the coldest place in Rajasthan with a low of minus 1.7 degree C. Mount Abu shivered at a low of 0.5, Pilani zero and Sriganganagar 0.9 degree C.

In Madhya Pradesh, where four people died of cold last week, the mercury kept hovering between zero and one degree Celsius at Pachmarhi, Satna, Rewa, Umaria, Guna and Damoh.

Pachmarhi was the coldest with a minimum temperature of zero degrees C. Satna recorded a low of 0.4 degree C, the lowest in 77 years.