DMIS: Indien · Kältewelle

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North India is currently experiencing its coldest weather in decades, with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana among those worst affected by the inclement weather. Nightly temperatures have been regularly falling below 3 Celsius in the capital, 4-5 degrees lower than the normal seasonal average. Last week, Delhi recorded temperatures of 1.9 degrees, the lowest in 44 years. Residents of other states including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Rajasthan are also braving unusually low temperatures. In the Kashmir valley, temperatures have dropped several degrees below zero.

Despite efforts by the government, Indian Red Cross, and a large number of NGOs, reports indicate that there are a growing number of deaths due to the low temperatures; with most of the deaths among the homeless and the elderly. Reports have indicated that the death toll in Uttar Pradesh due to the cold snap may already be as high as 200, with 24 deaths in just 24 hours on Tuesday.

For those travelling, dense fog has been compounding the situation, resulting in delayed and cancelled trains, and leaving many travellers with little option but to wait in crowded train stations in low temperatures. The heavy fog, particularly at nigh, also further lowers temperatures. The cold spell is expected to continue for at least the coming days, bringing concerns that the number of lives lost will continue to rise.

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