A cold wave sweeping parts of Bihar has claimed over a dozen lives in the state, officials said Monday.
Most of the victims are children and elderly people in Nawada, Gaya, East Champaran, Gopalganj, Saharsa and Darbhanga districts.
Official sources said three people died in Farbisganj, four in Nawada, two in Darbhanga and one each in East Champaran, Katihar and Saharsa.
Unconfirmed reports said two people died in Gaya, one in Patna and two each in Jehanabad and Arwal districts in the last 24 hours.
Scattered rain, chilly winds and blinding fog have added to the misery of the people. The mercury dipped to six degrees Celsius in some parts of the state.
The fog affected road and rail transport Sunday and Monday morning with trains running four to five hours behind schedule.
Meteorological office director T.N. Jha said the condition could worsen in the first week of January.
"There is an indication of a long spell of cold this year," he told IANS.
The relief and rehabilitation department has directed the district administrations to use public buildings to provide shelter to the poor and homeless people at night.
The government is yet to announce plans for the distribution of blankets to poor people.