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130 people die in India cold snap


NEW DELHI – No fewer than 130 people have died in a cold spell sweeping across northern and eastern India as dense fog disrupts rail and air services in the region, news reports said on Monday.
It said that 25 people lost their lives in intense cold or fog-related accidents in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh over the weekend.
The report said that the death toll in the state due to low temperatures had mounted to 124 during December.
It added that Churk town in Mirzapur was the coldest in the state, recording a low of 0.5 degrees Celsius.
Uttar Pradesh Relief Commissioner, Leena Johri declined to confirm the casualties, saying officials had not reported any cold-related deaths so far.
Twelve more cold-related deaths were reported from the eastern state of Bihar, Delhi and neighbouring Haryana state, which were also reeling under the cold spell.
Air and rail traffic were severely affected, while foggy conditions at Delhi airport led to delays of 137 flights and cancellations of 14 more.
Seventy-eight trains were running late due to low visibility.
Report says winters in India are brief, beginning in December and ending by February, but cause many deaths. (dpa/NAN)

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