- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2003

NEW DELHI, Jan. 2 (UPI) — At least 185 people, mostly homeless, have died due to a cold wave sweeping over several parts of India the past two weeks.

Reports said Thursday India's eastern state of Bihar was the worst affected, accounting for 131 deaths. At least 12 people died since Tuesday due to the cold.

Most of the deaths were reported in rural areas of the northern region where temperatures on Wednesday night dipped to between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit and 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

A further fall in temperature was predicted.

The United News of India reported that some 45 percent of people in Bihar live below the poverty line and do not have adequate woolen clothing.

In the largest state of Uttar Pradesh, 52 people have died from the weather.

Dense fog in several northern areas, including New Delhi, caused serious traffic disruption with near zero visibility.

The runway at New Delhi's international airport was closed to all flights throughout Thursday morning.

Several New Delhi-bound international flights have been diverted to Bombay, India's financial capital on the west coast.


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