People warm themselves by a fire at a vegetable wholesale market on a cold winter morning in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh January 8, 2013. The current cold weather in northern India has killed more than 100 homeless people, an aid group said last week. Temperatures in Chandigarh have dipped to 1.5 degrees Celsius. (Reuters)
Freezing temperatures have killed 200 in northern India this season. The record cold has also forced the closure of several schools.
The Times of India reported:
Kanpur and Agra shivered at a low of 1.1 and 1.0 degree below the freezing point as the mercury plunged to sub-zero levels across north India and killed 24 people in Uttar Pradesh since Monday. This mounted the dead toll from the cold snap this season to over 200.
Police said five people each died in Unnao and Barabanki; three each in Mahoba and Chitrakot; two each in Deoria, Lalitpur and Mau besides one each in Firozabad and Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where Lucknow recorded the second lowest temperature in 49 years with a low of minus 0.2 degree C. The lowest ever temperature – minus 1.0 – was recorded in the city on January 31, 1964.
The cold wave had earlier forced closure of all schools up to class XIII till January 12 in Uttar Pradesh that has reported maximum cold-related deaths – 199 – this season.
Meanwhile, neighboring China is experiencing its coldest winter in decades.
USA Today reported:
Ice swimmers were taking their shocking plunges in north China through the thickest ice in years, but most Chinese nationwide are shivering through the coldest weather in nearly three decades.
Freezing weather has sent temperatures diving to a national average of 25 degrees Fahrenheit since Nov. 20, the lowest average temperature in 28 years, says the China Meteorological Administration.
In China’s frozen northeast, where the city of Harbin hosts a popular snow and ice festival each winter, temperatures over the same period averaged minus-5 degrees, a 43-year low, according to the CMA.
And a new cold front will hit south China this week, the CMA said, as temperatures in several regions will be several degrees lower than the average of normal years.
Northern Hemisphere snow cover was the greatest on record in December.