December 2007 News

Two die of cold in Jammu

30 December 2007
The Daily Excelsior

SRINAGAR-JAMMU: The winter chill claimed another two lives in Jammu region today and the banks of Dal lake froze again as the Mercury sank to the season’s low of minus 7.2 degrees celsius in the Kashmir valley. Minimum temperatures in the cold desert climes of Ladakh were even worse with the town of Leh shivering at a numbing minus 15.2 c, the weather office said. Frozen bodies of two beggars were found in Gita Bhawan area of Jammu and Chanderkote town of Ramban district, officials said adding they had slept out in the cold. Met officials said minimum temperatures in Jammu division, where three people have died so far this season, were around 6 degrees celsius but the effect of the cold was greater due to a strong wind chill factor. After the coldest night of this season in the valley, the Sun came out brightly, bringing a reprieve to people using hot water to defreeze water pipes and thawing the Dal lake. Besides the lake, which is a big draw for tourists with its Victorian- era wooden houseboats, surface ice had formed on other water bodies in the valley but melted as the day advanced. 'The overnight temperature in Srinagar recorded this morning was minus 7.2 c, the season’s lowest so far and 5 degrees below the normal range,' a Met office spokesman said. The temperature was a 2 degree drop from Thursday’s minus 5.6 c, which was the coldest till then, he said. Taps in the city also froze overnight but the water supply was restored as it warmed, with day temperatures staying around 6 degrees above normal. This has taken by surprise the valley’s denizens who expect the ‘chilai kalan’ (40 days of harsh winter) period to be full of snow and rain. ‘chilai kalan’ begins from December 21. The maximum temperature recorded in Srinagar yesterday was 11.8 c, the Met office said. (PTI)


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