A severe cold wave in north India today left people shivering and claimed eight lives in Allahabad even as Leh town in Jammu and Kashmir froze at minus 20 degrees Celsius.

The mercury dipped below three degrees Celsius, the first time in seven years in Allahabad, leaving eight people dead due to cold in the district with the trans-Ganga region accounting for five deaths.

Railway traffic was also hit due to fog with certain trains like the Prayagraj Express, Sangam Express and Reeva Express running three to four hours behind schedule, railway sources said.

In Kashmir, Leh town registered a low of minus 20 degrees Celsius, even though the minimum temperatures across the region appreciated by a couple of degrees.

Other parts of the Valley saw the night temperatures appreciating as Gulmarg skiing resort recorded a low of minus 9.2 deg C, which was 2.5 degrees higher than yesterday.

Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a temperature of minus 7.7 deg C compared to yesterday’s minus 12.4 deg C.

Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley near Jawahar tunnel, was freezing at minus 8.4 deg C while Kokernag town in Anantnag district witnessed a night temperature of minus 7.5 deg C.In Srinagar city, the minimum temperature rose by 1.1 deg C to settle at minus 4.1 deg C.

The national capital experienced a bone-chilling morning as the mercury plummeted to the season’s lowest of 3.7 degree Celsius and icy winds blew across the city added to the woes of the people.

The maximum temperature settled at 14.7 degree Celsius, six notches below normal and the same as recorded yesterday.

“The minimum was recorded at 3.7 degree Celsius, which is the lowest this season. The low was three degrees below normal,” a Met Department official said. The minimum temperature dropped by over 4 degrees from yesterday’s low of 8.2 degree Celsius.

Punjab and Haryana faced the wrath of cold conditions with the minimum temperatures dropping sharply while dense fog in the two states threw normal life out of gear.

Freezing cold gripped Narnaul, which was the coldest place in Haryana-Punjab region, recording a low of zero degree Celsius, down three notches, the MeT said in Chandigarh.

As the minimum temperatures in Haryana tumbled after settling above normal for five days, the chill also swept Hisar, which recorded a low of 2.7 deg C, down two notches.

The MeT said that fog had engulfed most places in the two states early today.Fog affected movement of vehicular traffic at many places while some trains were also delayed due to bad weather conditions.

In Punjab, Ludhiana and Patiala recorded respective lows of 7 deg C and 5.2 deg C.Amritsar recorded a low of 8 deg C, five notches above normal.

In Rajasthan, biting cold conditions continued with Jaipur recording the lowest temperature of 2.1 degrees Celsius, 6 notches below normal.

The sole hill station of the desert state Mount Abu recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, according to MeT department.

The Rajasthan government has declared five days holiday from Tuesday to Saturday in government and private schools across the state in view of the cold conditions.

Keywords: Cold waveDeath toll

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