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Cold wave claims 14 lives in UP; flights disrupted in Delhi
New Delhi/ Lucknow, Jan 3 (IANS):
Published on 3 Jan. 2010 10:28 PM IST
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At least 14 people died of intense cold conditions in parts of Uttar Pradesh Saturday and Sunday, an official said. “The 14 deaths have been reported from many districts, including Banda, Bhadohi, Gorakhpur, Jaunpur and Varanasi,” the official of the disaster management department told IANS. “Foggy conditions would persist and cold wave will prevail over parts of Uttar Pradesh for at least next two days,” state Met department director J.P. Gupta said. “The moisture content on the ground and in the atmosphere is high because of cloudy weather, with the temperature drop, the moisture has been converted into a thick dense fog,” he told IANS. According to the state Met Office, scattered rainfall is also expected in parts of western Uttar Pradesh due to a western disturbance towards northeast areas of the country. Maximum temperature in almost all parts of the state was 2-6 degrees Celsius below normal, resulting in cold day conditions. The lowest minimum temperature, 5 degrees Celsius, was recorded in Shahjahanpur district Sunday. It was followed by Lucknow, where the minimum temperature was 7.4 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the fog in the capital cleared as the day progressed Sunday but several flights to and from Delhi were cancelled, delayed or diverted due to a backlog from the previous day, airport officials said. Parts of the city experienced light showers as well. But at least six domestic flights, including ones to Amritsar, Srinagar and Leh were cancelled due to poor weather at their respective destinations. Some international flights were delayed by a few hours around midnight due to dense fog at that time. Twelve domestic flights were also delayed, he added. At least 45 domestic departures and 25 arrivals were delayed by three to eight hours while 17 international flights were diverted Saturday due to thick fog over the national capital and a cable fault at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here. The visibility on the runways at the airport Sunday improved to 600 metres. Thick fog Saturday had severely hit services at the airport and the heavy backlog led to cancellation of flights Sunday. The visibility on the runways Saturday had fallen below 125 metres against the minimum 150 metres required for a flight to take off or land, leading to cancellation or diversion of nearly 40 domestic and international flights. An Air India London-Delhi flight which was diverted to Mumbai Saturday left passengers high and dry. They were left clueless for over 10 hours before they returned to the national capital. Orissa records season’s lowest temperature Bhubaneswar, Jan 3 (IANS): Cold wave continued to sweep parts of Orissa Sunday with Phulbani town in Kandhamal district recording a minimum temperature of 4 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the state this winter, an official said. “The low temperatures were recorded mostly in places located in western parts of the state. The coastal belt, however, remained warmer,” an official of the Bhubaneswar meteorological centre told IANS. The places that recorded low temperatures include Sambalpur (5.7 degrees Celsius), Sundergarh (5.9 degrees Celsius), Angul (6 degrees Celsius), Bhabanipatna (6.5 degrees) and Jharsuguda (7 degrees). The coastal towns of Puri, Gopalpur, Paradip and Chandbali recorded minimum temperatures of 14.2, 13.6, 11.9 and 10.0 degrees Celsius, respectively. The cold wave condition is likely to prevail in the interior part of the state during the next 48 hours, he said. Although normal life was hit in the regions that recorded low temperatures, there was no report of any loss of life from any part of Orissa due to the cold wave conditions, the state revenue control room said.

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