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Intense cold claims over 400 lives in north India

January 16, 2010 20:38 IST

The toll due to intense cold in north India crossed 400 on Saturday as temperatures dropped in Punjab and Haryana while a thick blanket of fog engulfed the national capital affecting 25 flights and train services.

All the 23 fresh deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh, which alone has accounted for 379 casualties so far this winter. Poor visibility due to fog led to a train accident today morning in Tundla in Uttar Pradesh, in which three persons were killed and 14 others wounded.

This was the fourth fog-related train mishap in the state this fortnight. After a temporary respite from biting cold for a couple of days, icy cold winds blew in Amritsar, which recorded a low of 0.8 degree Celsius, three notches below normal. Mercury also dropped at Ludhiana, where the low settled at 2.2 degree Celsius, down four degrees. Patiala, too, faced a cold night at 3.7 degree Celsius, three notches below normal.

Severe cold gripped Chandigarh, which recorded a low of 4.3 deg Celsius, down by two degrees. In Haryana, biting cold swept Narnaul which recorded a minimum temperature at 2.3 degree C, followed by Karnal at 2.8 degree Celsius, four degrees below normal. Ambala and Rohtak also experienced a cold night with minimum temperature of 4.1 degree Celsius and 4.8 degree Celsius respectively.

Foggy weather conditions affected flight operations in Chandigarh. Jet Airways has suspended all its flights operating from Chandigarh till January 18.

Meanwhile, Jammu reeled under intense cold with night temperature in the region slipping by a few notches, even as mercury levels rose in Kashmir valley.

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