New Delhi endured its coldest day in 40 years on Sunday as temperatures fell to three degrees Celsius (37.4 degrees Fahrenheit) during a cold snap across northern India.
As thousands of homeless people sought places in temporary shelters, more than 80 people were reported to have died due to the cold weather in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state.
"We have reports that 17 people have died in the last 24 hours," K.K Sinha, a disaster management official in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, said Monday. "So far 86 people have died in the winter chill over the last week."
Local authorities have been ordered to arrange bonfires on street corners as well as shelters to save the homeless.
"Sunday was Delhi's coldest day in the last four decades and we expect a further dip in the temperature in the coming days," B.P Yadav, director of weather forecasting at the India Meteorological Department, told AFP.
The Himalayan town of Leh, in the Ladakh region of Indian Kashmir, recorded a night
temperature of minus 20.2 degrees Celsius.
Most areas of northern India have ordered all schools to close until January 15.
The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported 11 deaths in the eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand due to the ongoing cold wave.
Each winter, scores of homeless people in India die from cold due to lack of proper shelter, clothing and food.
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