RAWALPINDI: Over the past three days, Islamabad and Rawalpindi have seen temperatures plummet to zero degree Celsius. But Monday witnessed a further drop in temperature –becoming the coldest day recorded in 30 years.

The mercury dropped in Islamabad to minus three degree Celsius while temperature in Rawalpindi was recorded at minus one degree Celsius.

On January 28, 1984, -3.5 degree Celsius was recorded in Islamabad and -4.3 degree Celsius on December 25, 1984.

“It is the coldest day this season. Biting cold has returned to the area after approximately 30 years,” an official of the meteorological department said.

He said there were chances of rain in the twin cities in the next 24 hours, adding that the cold wave would continue for the next 36 hours.

Since Saturday, the citizens of the twin cities have been braving severe weather, that too in the absence of low gas pressure and electricity loadshedding.

The areas worst affected by low gas pressure are Dhoke Ratta, Chaklala, Jhanda Cheechi, Marir Hassan, Morgah, Adiala Road, Fazaia Colony, Sadiqabad, Shamsabad, Dhoke Kala Khan, Nayya Mohallah, Raja Bazaar, Purana Qila, Chittian Hatian, Mohallah Waris Khan, Allama Iqbal Colony, Dhoke Dalal, Akalgarh, Tahli Mohri, Tench Bhatta, Kiani Road, Azizabad and some adjoining localities.

“Due to low gas pressure, we could not light our stoves, what to say about heaters,” said Ali Hussain, a resident of College Road.

Mohammad Muzamil, a resident of Dhoke Ratta, said they had been facing gas shortage with frequent intervals for over a month now.

He said it was strange that even when the CNG filling stations were closed, domestic consumers were being deprived of the facility. Due to the severity of the weather, cases of people suffering from cold-related ailments have shot up over the last few days.

Doctors at the city hospitals said children and the elderly were among the patients.

“We have been receiving over 100 patients on daily basis with complaints of cold-related problems,” said Dr Muhammad Haroon of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).

Deputy Medical Superintendent at Holy Family Hospital Dr Nadeem said the number of patients visiting the hospital had increased manifold during the last two weeks.

“The number of elderly people visiting the hospital with complaints of high blood pressure has increased to a great extent. Children are being treated for cough, cold and skin ailments,” he added.

Doctors have advised people to increase liquid intake, especially soups, and cover their heads and ears.

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