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23 more die as cold wave sweeps North
New Delhi: The entire North India continued to remain in the grip of severe cold wave on Sunday, with 23 more people succumbing to the chill in various parts of the region. Delhi shivered at seasonís lowest of 1.9 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal, while the maximum temperature plummeted by 9 degrees below normal to settle at 11.8 degrees. According to Met forecast, the city is likely to wake up to a foggy morning on Monday. In Uttar Pradesh, 15 more persons died due to intense cold conditions, taking the toll in the State this winter to 155. According to officials, three people each died in Bijnor, Etah and Muzaffarnagar, two each in Lalitpur and Mirzapur and one each in Unnao and Chandauli districts. Muzaffarnagar continued to remain the coldest place in the state, recording a low of 0.2 degrees, Met officials said. The maximum temperatures too remained below normal by six to 13 degrees in many parts of the State even though the night temperature rose marginally in Varanasi and Allahabad divisions. The Met forecast says cold wave conditions will continue to prevail in the state during the next 48 hours, with thick fog cover likely to descend on the Eastern parts. At least six persons succumbed to the chill in Punjab and Haryana, where normal life remained affected due to biting cold and thick fog cover. While four persons died in Amritsar, one each succumbed in Hisar and Narnaul in Haryana, officials said. Hisar recorded an all-time low of minus 1.1 degrees Celsius, six notches below normal, whereas Narnaul registered a low of zero degrees Celsius, five notches below normal. Union Territory of Chandigarh recorded a low of 3 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal. Bhiwani in Haryana registered a low of 1.6 degrees Celsius followed by 3.5 degrees Celsius at Ambala, three notches below normal. In Punjab, Ludhiana had a low of 4.2 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal followed by 4.4 degrees Celsius at Amritsar. The Met office forecasts further drop in the mercury, with dense fog and misty conditions likely to prevail. Cold claimed two lives in Rajasthanís Bundi district, with the temperature in Churu dipping to minus 2.2 degrees. While the hill resort of Mount Abu recorded a minimum of zero degree for the second consecutive day, Pilani registered a low of 0.8 degree Celsius. There was no respite from shivering cold in other parts too where Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jaipur and Chittorgarh recorded minimums of 0.8, 2.4, 3.2 and 4.2 degree Celsius respectively. In Srinagar, the temperature continued to remain below freezing point to settle at minus 4.6 degrees Celsius. Famous skiing resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place in the Valley with a low of minus 9.0 degrees. The tourist resort of Pahalgam, which also serves as a base camp during annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 8.0 degrees Celsius, about three degrees lower from yesterdayís minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, a Met official said. In Himachal, mercury dropped further at many places to stay below freezing point. Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 10.4 degree, followed by Kalpa in Kinnaur district with a minimum of minus 5 degrees, Met office said. Solan recorded a minimum of minus 3.5 degrees, Manali minus 3 degrees, Bhuntar minus 1 degree, Sundernagar minus 0.6 degree and Shimla 0.9 degree.
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