hands at fire/India
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Hyderabad/Bangalore: The unprecedented cold wave sweeping across southern India has claimed seven lives so far in Andhra Pradesh and broken century-old temperature records at several places in neighbouring Karnataka.

Chilly winds blew across coastal and north Telangana districts, claiming the lives of four elderly persons at Gudipudi village near Sattenapalle in Guntur district on Monday. Two women each died in Bapatla and Visakhapatnam.

In interior Karnataka, the harsh weather has broken records. Madikeri registered its lowest temperature in 132 years on Monday, with the minimum dropping to 4.8 degrees Celsius.

At 7.7 degrees Celsius, Mysore recorded its coldest day in 120 years and Bangalore saw its coldest day of January in 19 years with minimum temperature touching 12 degrees Celsius. In the plains, Belgaum was the coldest at 7.2 degrees.

B Puttanna, director, in-charge, Bangalore Met department blamed the cold wave in north India for temperatures dropping as much as 7-9 degrees, as compared to last week, in some places in Karnataka.

"The severe cold wave from the north and north-east combined with clear skies, has brought down minimum temperatures across the state," he said.

The weather department has forecast slightly warmer days ahead for Mysore and Bangalore.

In Andhra Pradesh, Adilabad shivered as mercury fell to 4 degrees Celsius. On Saturday, it had plummeted to 3.7 degrees, the lowest in 10 years in the region. Last week, the minimum temperature was as high as 15 degrees celsius.

Meanwhile, weather officials said the cold wave conditions in Andhra Pradesh would continue for the next 24 hours.

They attributed the phenomenon to easterly waves sweeping across central India. While Ramagundam and Medak recorded 7 degrees on Monday, Hyderabad was unusually cold at 10 degrees.

Children and the aged were worst hit while the cold winds were also causing serious problems among people suffering from asthma.