Cold wave unabated in UP, 14 more die

January 07, 2013 - 1:17:18 am

Lucknow/srinagar: The cold wave continued unabated for the fourth day in Uttar Pradesh yesterday, with the lowest night temperature of 0.3 degrees Celsius recorded in Muzaffarnagar.

A dense fog enveloped most parts of the sprawling state, specially the western districts closer to Delhi. 

Icy winds made things worse as people preferred to stay indoors. The homeless were left to fend for themselves on city roads. 

In many areas, day temperatures went down to 12 degrees Celsius, which is 5 degrees less than normal.

Regional Met Director J P Gupta attributed the cold wave to the icy winds blowing from the foothills of the Himalayas and said the condition would remain more or less the same in the coming days.  The icy winds are sweeping the state at 10km per hour. 

Temperatures were low in more than a dozen places including Agra (1.1), Ghazipur (1.5) and Najibabad (1.10), Gupta said.

In Lucknow, Etawah, Allahabad, Fatehgarh and Moradabad it was between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius.

In the Avadh region, as many as 14 people perished to the cold wave. They included five in Bahraich, three each in Faizabad, Amethi and Barabanki, reports said. Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures remained way below the freezing point yesterday in Jammu and Kashmir, with Leh town recording minus 18 degrees Celsius.

Leh, in Ladakh, was the coldest place in the state followed by Kargil at minus 17.4 degrees Celsius, said a weather official.

The night temperature in Srinagar, the summer capital, was minus 4.6 degrees Celsius and in the winter capital Jammu 6.9 degrees. 

There was frost in the Kashmir Valley and fog in Jammu, disrupting air, road and rail traffic. 

Railway officials said most trains reaching Jammu were delayed due to the fog. Five flights were cancelled. 

Road traffic was affected due to one-way traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway.

In the valley’s other towns, Gulmarg and Pahalgam, the mercury was minus 9 and minus 8 degrees respectively, the meteorological department said. The official said the cold would continue until today.

Parts of the Dal Lake in Srinagar have frozen, making life difficult for fisherman and boatmen. The frost on the valley’s roads has made commuting and driving risky.