New Delhi: Intense cold wave swept across North India on Thursday and, coupled with dense fog, affected normal life across the region and led to the death of 12 persons - nine in Uttar Pradesh and three in Punjab.
Hilly regions of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh reeled under temperatures below the freezing point, while dense fog in the plains caused low visibility affecting flight operations and delaying around 100 trains.
In the national capital, people woke up to a chilly Christmas morning with dense fog continuing to disrupt road, rail and air traffic. The minimum temperature in Delhi settled two notches below the season's average at 6 degrees Celsius. The maximum was 15.9 degrees, according to the MeT office.
More than 90 trains including Rajdhani Expresses coming from Ranchi, Kolkata, Bubhaneshwar and Guwahati were running late, railway officials said.
Bitting cold wave, coupled with dense fog, severely affected normal life in Uttar Pradesh, where at least nine persons lost their lives due to cold weather conditions.
According to UP officials, three persons were killed in Mainpuri and one each in Barabanki and Badaun districts in separate road accidents due to low visibility caused by fog.
In Barabanki, two more persons -- a 55-year-old man and a two-year-old child -- died due to cold wave. According to a report from Muzaffarnagar in western UP, two persons have died due to cold since yesterday in the region.
Shahjahanpur recorded the lowest minimum temperature in UP at 2.5 degrees Celsius, MeT officials said.
In Punjab, Amritsar was shivering at 3.2 degrees Celsius with dense fog disrupting normal life across the state and its neighbouring Haryana.
Three persons died in a jeep-truck collision in Punjab's Gurdaspur district. Police said low visibility caused by fog led to the accident.
Narnaul in Haryana was the coldest place in the state recording a minimum temperature of 3.3 degrees, three notches below normal. Karnal and Ambala also experienced the chill registering below normal lows of 5.8 degrees and 6.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir Valley reeled under sub-zero temperature as mercury settled at minus 3.9 degrees Celsius and in the cold desert of Ladakh it remained under the minus 10 degrees mark freezing most water bodies and fringes of the famous Dal Lake.