Patna: Intense cold in Bihar has claimed 15 more lives, pushing the total number of casualties due to inclement weather to 42, officials said on Monday.
"The inclement weather claimed 15 more lives, including women and children, within 24 hours," an official said.
A total of 17 people died in the state last month during a cold wave, followed by 10 people early this month.
According to reports from across the state, four people died in Saharsa, three in East Champaran, two in Sitamarhi, one each in Nalanda, Saran, Vaishali, Purnea, Gaya and Muzaffarpur districts.
People across the state shivered in the biting cold and dense fog continued to affect normal life and disrupt air and rail traffic, officials said.
The meteorological department said Gaya district recorded a low of 8 degrees Celsius and Patna the minimum of 11 degrees Celsius Monday.
In the wake of extreme cold conditions and fog, all schools have been directed to close down in Patna, Muzaffarpur, Bhaghalpur and Gaya districts.
According to RK Giri of the Patna Met Office, the icy winds will continue in the state for next few days. "There will be no respite till Jan 21, the region is under the influence of the cold Himalyan winds."
Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has directed the disaster management department to arrange bonfires for the poor.
The dense fog has delayed flights. Several long distance trains are running late, officials said.