Cold wave leaves 288 dead, North India faces intense chill

New Delhi: Biting cold sweeping North India claimed 288 lives with 30 more deaths reported from Uttar Pradesh on Monday, even as flight and train operations were normal in the absence of fog.

The fresh casualties were reported from Bahraich (6), Balrampur, Barabanki and Muzaffarnagar (4 each), Sitapur (3), Jaunpur, Sultanpur, Gorakhpur and Faizabad (2 each) and Lucknow (1), taking the toll in the state to 262 this winter, official sources said.

In Varanasi, temperature hovered around 4.4 degree C, four notches below normal.

Cold wave swept across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh with mercury falling by up to three notches below normal.

Amritsar was the coldest place in Punjab with a low of 1.2 degrees Celsius, while in Haryana, Ambala registered a low of 4.1 deg C, three notches below normal.

Night temperature in Kashmir and Ladakh showed an upward trend, while Jammu recorded a drop in mercury at 4 deg C, four degrees below normal. The winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir had recorded a minimum of 5.3 deg C yesterday.

Banihal was the coldest place with a low of minus 2.6 deg C and Bhaderwah minus 0.6 deg C.

The night temperature in Leh was minus 20 deg C against minus 21.4 deg C yesterday. But, there was no change in night temperature in Kargil which recorded minus 17 deg C.

Pahalgam, a hill resort in South Kashmir, reeled under cold conditions with a low of minus 6.6 deg C, while Srinagar, which had recorded night temperature of minus 4.6 deg C yesterday, recorded a low of minus 4.2 deg C today.