India cold spell leaves more than 170 dead

NEW DELHI: More than 170 people have died in India as the country suffers through its worst cold spell in decades.

Icy temperatures accompanied by winds and a thick fog have engulfed large parts of India’s north in the past days, leaving many of the country’s homeless struggling to survive.

Local media reported that, temperatures in the capital Delhi fell to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius), making it the coldest day in 44 years.

Reports say more people have lost their lives in the bitter cold in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported that 175 people had died in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, where temperatures have dipped to below zero.

The cold snap has also been sweeping through many parts of the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Forecasters say the unusual conditions will continue for the next few days. Temperatures in Delhi, however, rose to 2.4C, up from 1.9C.