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5 die of cold in Malda

Malda, Dec. 28: Five persons are believed to have died of cold last night in Chanchal subdivision that recorded a minimum temperature of around 5°C yesterday.

“All those who died were from BPL families. They lacked woollens and blankets and could not bear the severe cold,” Nabakumar Singha, the pradhan of the Chandrapara panchayat, said today. “At least four more persons, including a woman, are ill because of the severe weather conditions and need immediate relief.”

The deceased are Ahmed Hossain, 60, and Dipak Mondal, 46, of Balarampur, Abdul Rahim, 58, from Lalganj, Ariful Islam, 50, of Tazipara and Bhola Sheikh, 50, from Baharbandh, all in Chandrapara panchayat of Chanchal.

For the past one week, the temperature across Malda has come down by at least 10°C below normal. During the day, the temperature has been hovering between 13 and 16°C and at night it is plummeting to 4-5°C. Met office sources said last night that Malda town recorded 7.5°C and Chanchal’s minimum temperature was around five.

“The temperature will remain low in the district for the the next two-three days,” said an official of the India Metereological Department.

The deaths have prompted the district health department to conduct an inquiry.

“We have come to know that five persons have died of cold. The block medical officer of health has been asked to submit a report,” Swapan Biswas, the assistant chief medical officer of health, said.