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Cold eases in north but claims 2 lives in Muzaffarnagar

<p>Cold wave conditions eased in northern India on Monday although the winter chill led to two deaths in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. Residents of Kashmir Valley got some respite from the freezing cold with the mercury rising several notches in Jammu and Kashmir.</p>

Press Trust Of India

Updated:January 14, 2014, 10:26 AM IST
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Cold eases in north but claims 2 lives in Muzaffarnagar
<p>Cold wave conditions eased in northern India on Monday although the winter chill led to two deaths in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. Residents of Kashmir Valley got some respite from the freezing cold with the mercury rising several notches in Jammu and Kashmir.</p>

Cold wave conditions eased in northern India on Monday although the winter chill led to two deaths in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. Residents of Kashmir Valley got some respite from the freezing cold with the mercury rising several notches in Jammu and Kashmir.

Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of -1.1 degrees Celsius, almost two degrees up from the previous night's low of -3 degrees while the mercury in Pahalgam hill resort shot up by almost seven degrees from -12.4 degrees the night before to settle at -5.6 degrees.

The temperature was up six notches in Ladakh's Leh to settle at a low of -12.1 degrees as against the previous night's -18.9 degrees. Leh, however, continues to be the coldest place in J-K.

The mercury in the nearby Kargil town rose by over five notches to settle at -11.5 degrees. But Uttar Pradesh reported fresh casualties in the cold with two persons, including a woman, succumbing to chilly temperatures in Muzaffarnagar.

Also, official sources said that six children at a temporary night shelter in Shamli district were taken ill as a result of the harsh conditions. A 55-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, both residents of Gangeru village, died on Sunday after falling ill due to the cold. Icy winds have been sweeping the region for the past few days.

Meanwhile, in Gorakhpur district, educational institutions up to the intermediate level have been ordered shut till Wednesday in view of the cold and fog. The minimum fell in Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Allahabad divisions while the lowest temperature in the state was 4.4 degrees recorded at Etawah.

Delhi on Monday basked in bright sunshine which lasted throughout the day with no sign of fog over the city. The sunny weather pushed the mercury to a notch above normal with the maximum settling at 21.6 degrees in the national capital.

The minimum was registered at 7 degrees, which was a notch below normal and slightly above yesterday's 6.3 degrees.

Himachal Pradesh, too, got relief amidst rising temperatures although the higher reaches of the state received mild snowfall. Udaipur, Kalpa and Keylong recorded 2cm of fresh snow even as the weather remained dry in the rest of the state.

Shimla and other areas in the middle hills saw the minimum rise by three-five degrees. The state capital recorded a low of 5 degrees while the minimum in Manali was at 3 degrees.

Back in the plains, Punjab and Haryana saw an easing of cold conditions with the mercury rising by up to four notches across the two neighbouring states which also got respite from foggy weather.

Amritsar and Narnaul, in Punjab and Haryana, respectively, recorded the lowest temperature in the state at an identical 3.6 degrees, one notch above normal. Parts of Rajasthan, too, experienced some relief from the cold due to a marginal rise in night temperatures.

Churu recorded a low of 2.9 degrees followed by Dabok at 4.4 degrees. But fog at some places hampered the schedules of a few trains of North Western Railways. While two trains were rescheduled, 13 others were running late.

However, in a mishap which may be blamed on the cold, an elderly man was charred to death in Jaipur when his quilt caught fire in the wee hours on Monday, police said. The victim, said to be in his early seventies, had been asleep when his quilt caught fire from the logs he had lit to keep himself warm.

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