The big chill: Cold wave sweeps across North India, Delhi coldest in 44 years

The entire North India today shivered due to intense cold wave as plummeting mercury claimed 15 more lives in Uttar Pradesh, with thick fog cover throwing normal life out of gear in many places of the region.

Delhi witnessed its coldest day of January in past 44 years, with the maximum temperature falling sharply by 11 notches to stand at 9.8 degrees.

Residents woke up to a foggy morning, with the minimum temperature dipping by two notches below normal to stay at 4.8 degree Celsius.

Poor visibility affected schedules of nearly 30 flights and led to diversion of an international flight to Mumbai.

In Uttar Pradesh, the death toll continued to mount, with 15 more people succumbing to the chill in various parts of the state.

Officials said four people died in Muzaffarnagar which remained the coldest place with 0.6 degrees, followed by three in Mathura, two each in Agra, Bulandshahr, Etah and one each in Barabanki and Mirzapur.

With this, the death toll in the state this winter has reached to 107.

Night temperatures remained below normal in most parts of the state including Moradabad, Agra, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Bareilly and Kanpur divisions.

Himachal continued to reel under sub-zero temperatures, with Keylong remaining the coldest place with a minimum of minus 8.9 degrees, followed by Kalpa with minus 3.5 degrees.

While the key tourist resort of Manali shivered at minus 3 degrees, capital Shimla recorded a low of 2.1 degrees.

According to Met officials, early morning fog engulfed most parts of the state but visibility improved as the day advanced.

Cold wave swept entire Rajasthan too, where Churu was the coldest place with a minimum temperature of 1.6 degrees, followed by Pilani with 2.6 degrees.

Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Jaipur, Dabok and Jaisalmer recorded night temperatures of 4, 4.5, 5.2, 6.4 and 6.5 degrees respectively while other stations recorded minimum of 7 and 8 degree Celsius.

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