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Cold wave death toll crosses 200

Last updated on: January 07, 2010 19:56 IST

Cold wave claimed 204 lives in north India as dense fog returned to the region after a gap of two days affecting flights and trains in the national capital even as parts of Kashmir experienced sub-zero temperatures.

All the nine fresh deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh since Wednesday night, official sources said.

While two persons each died in Ghazipur, Etawah and Balia, one death each was reported from Auraiya, Maharajganj and Basti, taking the death toll to 180 in Uttar Pradesh this winter.

Meerut with 3.4 deg Celsius was the coldest place in the state, while Lucknow had a low of 3.8 deg Celsius and Kanpur 4.4 deg Celsius.

Schedules of around 50 domestic and international flights at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi were disrupted as dense fog led to suspension of air operations for about three hours.

Over 20 flights were delayed by up to three hours, while as many, including three international ones, were diverted as runway visibility dropped to less than 50 metres last night and early this morning, an airport official said.

Another 12 flights were rescheduled because of fog which started to descend over the Delhi airport from late last evening, reducing general visibility to zero and runway visibility to less 50 metres, halting air operations.

The railways too cancelled and rescheduled some trains. The minimum temperature in Delhi was 6.8 deg Celsius against yesterday's minimum of 5.6 deg Celsius.

Heavy fog also affected visibility in parts of Punjab and Haryana where cold wave disrupted normal life. Cold conditions returned to Jammu and Kashmir after two days, as night temperature fell below freezing point due to clear sky.

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