A prolonged spell of cold weather in northern India has left around 300 people dead.

The state of Bihar has been the worst hit, with 187 people killed. In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the authorities have closed all schools for a week after a cold wave claimed the lives of 104 people.

The conditions have also caused widespread disruption to transport.

Dense fog in the capital Delhi has brought delays to many flights and railway journeys, and caused a spate of road accidents.

Several domestic and international flights to the Indian capital have been diverted to Bombay.

Many parts of Delhi were also plunged into darkness because of a breakdown in the power transmission grid.

The city often experiences power shortages in winter because of an increase in consumption as well as power theft.

Forecasters say the cold weather will continue for the next few days.

Last week, authorities in Bihar state ordered the closure of all government-run and private schools until 14 January – postponing the new school term by a week.

The cold wave has also affected people in the western state of Rajasthan as well as parts of central India.

Neighbouring Pakistan is also experiencing very cold weather.

The Kashmir region, in the Himalayan mountains, is the coldest in the subcontinent, with Drass in the Indian-administered part of the province experiencing temperatures of -20C.

 

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