Leh remains at -23 deg C, six more die in northern India

Mercury remained at minus 23 deg C for the second consecutive night at Leh in Jammu and Kashmir as the cold wave on Monday continued its grip over the northern region and claimed at least six lives.

Updated: Jan 03, 2011, 22:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Mercury remained at minus 23
deg C for the second consecutive night at Leh in Jammu and
Kashmir as the cold wave on Monday continued its grip over the
northern region and claimed at least six lives.

Leh town in Ladakh region yesterday witnessed the
coldest night this winter at minus 23.6 deg C. Kargil town
also had an extremely cold night with a minimum temperature of
minus 18.2 deg C.

The cold wave also intensified in Gulmarg skiing
resort in north Kashmir and Pahalgam health resort in south
Kashmir. The two tourist spots recorded a minimum temperature
of minus 11.7 deg C and minus 12.4 deg C, respectively.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the Kashmir Valley, was
freezing at a low of minus 10.4 deg C, while Kokernag town in
Anantnag witnessed a night temperature of minus 9.1 deg C.

The minimum temperature fell by nearly three degrees
to settle at a low of minus 5.2 deg C in Srinagar.

Six more deaths were reported from different parts of
Uttar Pradesh as mercury dipped sharply, taking the toll to 30
this winter in the state.

One death each was reported from Mathura, Varanasi,
Aligarh, Auraiya, Ramabai Nagar and Rampur due to cold.

Lucknow recorded a minimum of 3.5 deg C, which was
three notches below normal while the maximum temperature was
15.7 deg C, seven notches below normal.

Delhi recorded a minimum temperature overnight of 8.2
deg C which is a degree above normal and only marginally above
yesterday`s minimum of 7.8 degrees while the maximum was at
14.7 deg C, up by 0.1 degrees from the previous day.

The hills in Himachal Pradesh had no respite from the
biting cold as night temperatures continued to drop there.

Keylong in tribal Lahaul and Spiti district recorded a
minimum temperature of minus 14.9 deg C, while Kalpa in
adjoining Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 6.6 deg C.

Shimla recorded a low of 3.7 deg C while Solan,
Bhuntar and Sundernagar shivered under sub-zero temperatures
of minus 0.5, minus 0.4 and minus 0.2 deg C, respectively.

The high altitude tribal areas reeled under piercing
cold wave conditions with minimum temperature staying between
minus 14 and minus 22 deg C.

The tribal valleys of Lahaul and Spiti and Pangi
Valley were cut off from rest of the state due to heavy snow
on high mountain passes and about a dozen persons, including
half a dozen tourists were stranded there.

All natural sources of water like lakes, springs,
rivulets and the 70 km-stretch of Chandrabhaga river, a
tributary of Spiti, were frozen for the past three weeks.

The day-time chill further intensified across Punjab
and Haryana even though the minimum temperature settled a few
notches above normal.

Fog had lifted from many places in Punjab and Haryana
barring places like Ambala and Rohtak.

In Haryana, Ambala registered a low of 7.3 deg C, up
two notches while the minimum at Hisar was 5.6 deg C, one
above normal.

Narnaul, however, was extremely cold recording a low
of 2.6 deg C, down by two degrees.

In Punjab, Ludhiana and Patiala recorded respective
lows of 8.9 deg C and 7.6 deg C, both up by two degrees each.

"The North-Westerly winds are keeping the mercury down
during the day-time. The cold conditions during the day will
continue at least till Wednesday," a Met official said.

Meanwhile, intense cold conditions paralysed normal
life in parts of Rajasthan with Mount Abu recording a low of
minus 5.4 deg C, the lowest in the desert state.

On January 31, 1990, the hill station had recorded a
lowest temperature of minus 5.6 degree Celsius, according to
Met department here.

In plains, Sikar was the coldest place with a low of
1.5 degrees C followed by Aranpura road in Pali at 2.6 deg C.

Icy winds shivered people in other parts and dense fog
disrupted movement of vehicles this morning.