File photo: Roadside dwellers protect themselves from rain with a plastic sheet in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi on August 7, 2012.

New Delhi -

At least 26 people died over 24 hours in a cold wave in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, news reports said on Monday.

The deaths were reported on Sunday and Monday in Basli, Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Varanasi and Chandauli towns, the IANS news agency reported. Temperatures as low as minus 4 degrees Celsius were reported in the state.

While some of the deaths were due to exposure, at least six people were killed in road accidents caused by dense fog, the report said.

All schools and colleges in Uttar Pradesh's capital, Lucknow, have been closed until January 5 because of the cold.

The fog disrupted air and rail traffic across northern India. At least 15 flights leaving from New Delhi airport were cancelled and 100 trains were running behind schedule, state-run Doordarshan television reported. - Sapa-dpa