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article imageIndia's near freeze temperatures kills at least 17

By Andrew Moran     Jan 3, 2010 in World
The winter season has just begun but some may want it to be over as soon as possible, such as those in India as at least 17 people have been killed from freezing temperatures.
Public officials on Friday announced that at least 17 people have died in the northern states of India as towns and villages in the nation experience temperatures as low as 1 degree Celsius, according to the Associated Press. Jammu police also found the body of a worker who died due to the cold.
State police spokesperson G N Khanna said, “Sixteen people have died in Uttar Pradesh since early Wednesday due to cold [weather] conditions in the state. Most victims were homeless or pavement dwellers.” In cities like Kanpur and Agra, temperatures have dropped to 1 degree Celsius and as high as 4 degree Celsius.
With a high possibility of more deaths, the Chief Medical Officer of Uttar Pradesh, A.K. Shukla has urged children and the elderly to stay home over this cold period.
The Independent Online reports that the majority of homeless people have little means of shelter to protect themselves from the bitter cold nights and only have plastic sheets and bags as forms of heating, however, local and state authorities have been distributing blankets and firewood.
Meteorologists are expecting the temperatures to continue over the next several days, according to the Hindustan Business Line. However, winters in India are quite short because they start in the middle of December and end by February.
Last year, 151 people reportedly died from the cold.
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