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Cold wave shows no let-up, toll rises

Calcutta, Jan. 9: About a dozen people, including two infants, died of a cold wave sweeping the districts over the past few days.

The deaths were reported from Malda, Purulia and Murshidabad.

Deputy director-general of the regional meteorological centre, R.N. Goldar, said the cold wave is likely to continue for the next three or four days.

Calcutta recorded 10.7 degrees Celsius today, which is two degrees below normal and the lowest this winter.

“The temperature in Calcutta is likely to hover around 10 and 11 degrees in the next couple of days. Malda, the two Dinajpurs, Birbhum, Burdwan, Purulia and the adjoining areas of Jharkhand and Bihar are in the grip of a severe cold wave,” said Goldar.

In Murshidabad, where the minimum temperature dipped to 6 degrees today, three elderly people and two infants — one a year old and the other two-and-half years — died in the Naoda, Lalgola and Khargram police station areas.

One of the infants died of pneumonia while the other succumbed to the chill. District magistrate Manoj Panth said he has appealed to the people to report any death caused by the cold wave to the block development officers.

Three persons died from exposure to cold in different parts of Purulia even as the minimum temperature dipped to 4.5 degrees in the town today. The average minimum temperature around this time of the year is 7 degrees Celsius. Today’s reading is the lowest in two years. In 1998, the temperature had plummeted to 2 degrees.

In Malda, the minimum temperature dropped to 5.4 degrees and three persons died in Baishnabnagar and Manickchak.

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