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North India cold wave tightens grip, toll over 90
December 30, 2005 22:49 IST
Mercury on Friday plummeted several notches below normal at many places intensifying the cold wave gripping North India even as three more people fell prey to the chill pushing the death count this winter to 96.
Dense fog engulfed the region again reducing visibility considerably, which threw train schedules haywire and created traffic snarl-ups on highways. The fog cover, however, did not hamper air traffic in the national capital where the minimum temperature stayed at 5.7 degrees celsius, a degree below normal.
Several trains ran hours behind schedule in the region owing to foggy conditions as mercury hovered one to five degrees below normal at many places. Two more persons succumbed to the spine-chilling cold in Uttar Pradesh raising the statewide toll to 77.
Sixteen people have perished in Punjab and three in Haryana so far. Ludhiana was the coldest place in Punjab with mercury plunging to a low of 1.4 degrees celsius, down by five degrees. Amritsar had a low of 3.5 degrees celsius, Chandigarh five degrees celsius and Karnal (Haryana) four degrees celsius. Ambala, which was engulfed in thick fog, settled at a low of 4.2 degree celsius, three degrees below normal.
The cold wave sweeping mid-and-higher hills in Himachal Pradesh tightened its grip as tribal valleys of Lahaul-Spiti, Pin and Pangi shivered with minimum temperatures ranging between minus 15 and minus 30 degrees celsius. Shimla reeled at 3.5 degrees celsius as thousands of tourists in Himachal capital anxiously waited for a white New Year.