14 succumb to cold in North India

Fourteen people succumbed to extreme cold in North India today 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 yesterday'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 today 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 re-scheduled 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.

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