New Delhi: Fourteen people succumbed to extreme cold in North India on Monday as temperatures plummeted across the region making people stay inside homes. Delhiites shivered in the morning as the mercury plunged to the season's lowest of 5.5 degrees Celsius even as dense fog affected air traffic.
The minimum was two degrees below normal and down from Sunday's 7.7 degrees. The maximum temperature in the capital was 13.3 degrees celsius, seven notches below normal. Extreme cold claimed 14 more lives in various parts of Uttar Pradesh bringing the toll this winter to 83 in the state.
Despite a sunny afternoon which provided much needed respite to people, the chill claimed three lives each in Jalaun and Bhadohi, two each in Azamgarh, Bahraich and Shrawasti and one each in Gazipur and Sonebhadra. Met office reports said that maximum temperatures were below normal by four to 10 degree celsius at one or two places in the state.
Night temperatures fell appreciably in Lucknow division. They were below normal in Gorakhpur, Bareilly, Moradabad, Jhansi and Agra divisions and normal in remaining divisions. Lowest minimum temperature in the state was 4.0 degree celsius recorded at Muzaffarnagar.
Fog threw normal life out of gear in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on Monday affecting air, rail and road traffic as the mercury plummeted sharply in the region on the New year eve. Early morning dense fog reduced visibility to just a few metres adversely affecting air, rail and road traffic in the two states, official said here.
While most of the flights from Chandigarh airport were cancelled or rescheduled in view of low visibility, several trains passing through the plains of Punjab and Haryana are running hours behind schedule. A serpentine queue of vehicles could be seen moving slowly on highways due to the dense fog. Besides foggy conditions, the minimum temperature sharply fell in the region as the mercury hovered between four degrees celsius below normal to one notch above normal in several parts of Punjab and Haryana, the Met office said.
Tripping of power supply and low pressure of water further aggravated to the woes of the people of the region, officials said. In the plains of Punjab and Haryana, Narnaul braved the lowest temperature with a low of 1.9 degrees celsius, which was four notches below normal. While Bhiwani settled at a low of 3.6 degrees celsius, the minimum temperature at Hisar and Karnal was an identical 5.4 degrees celsius, one notch each below normal.
Patiala settled at a low of 5.8 degrees celsius, one notch below normal followed by 5.8 degrees celsius at Ludhiana, also one notch below normal, Amritsar six degrees celsius, Chandigarh 6.4 degrees celsius, one notch below normal and 6.8 degrees celsius at Ambala, one notch above normal.
Mercury dipped in the desert state of Rajasthan with Churu recording a minimum temperature of 1.9 degree Celsius, two degrees below normal. Shri Ganganagar, which was the coldest place in Rajasthan on Sunday recording 0.6 degree Celsius, on Monday recorded minimum of 3.7 degree Celsius, according to Met department here.