Rain ravages claim six lives

Published February 12, 2016
Minors walk on a road during snowfall in Shangla on Thursday. — Photo by Umar Bacha
Minors walk on a road during snowfall in Shangla on Thursday. — Photo by Umar Bacha

PESHAWAR: Heavy snowfall and rains crippled life in parts of Hazara and Malakand divisions on Thursday.

Six people died and one suffered injuries in the rain-related incidents in Peshawar and Lower Dir district in the day, the relevant officials said.

Residents said Abbottabad town received record one and a half feet snow.

The adjoining Galiyat and Thandiani area received five to seven feet snow, according to reports.

Heavy snowfall began in the wee hours of Thursday, which continued with intervals in the day.

The snow had blocked roads and streets for vehicular traffic in Galiyat and suspended electric supply to 90 per cent population in Abbottabad.

The widespread rains and snowfall damaged telecommunication networks in the area.

The inclement weather partially damaged the building of the district courtroom.

Galiyat was cut off from Abbottabad.

The Galiyat Development Authority blocked the main road between Galiyat and Abbottabad Town at Herno and warned tourists not to visit the hill station.

The snow blocked the Karakorum Highway linking Pakistan with China at different locations. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority directed the relevant district administration to move heavy machinery to clear major and link roads in Abbottabad and Mansehra districts.

The authority confirmed four deaths in Peshawar and two in Lower Dir, while another suffered injuries in the provincial capital.

A statement issued here said the deaths occurred when houses collapsed due to heavy rains.

The continuous rains and snowfall also dropped the mercury below zero.

The Met Office said the minimum temperature was recorded minus four degree centigrade in Parachinar, Kurram Agency.

According to it, Malam Jaba, a ski resort in Swat, received 20 inches snow.

Similarly, six inches snow was recorded in Kalam and Upper Dir district each.

Parts of Malakand and Hazara divisions also received heavy rains during the last 24 hours.

Dir received 98 millimeters rainfall, Saidu Sharif 50mm, Risalpur 44mm and Malam Jaba 47mm.

Mingora received the winter’s first snowfall breaking the long dry spell.

The snowfall began on Wednesday night and continued until Thursday turning the weather extremely cold.

The mountainous region in Upper Swat received heavy snowfall leaving the link roads blocked for all kinds of traffic.

Also, severe snowfall paralysed life in Upper Dir, where electric supply remained suspended for 27 hours.

Mountainous areas of the district including Lowari top, Komrat, Thal, Shahi, Usheri Dara and other areas received three to four feet of snow, while plain areas including Dir town, Panakot, Qashqari, Qulandi and others received one to two feet of snow.

Main road leading to Kohistan valley was closed to traffic from Patrak area as Lowari Top Road was not cleared from snow.

Two girls were killed when the wall of a room of their house collapsed due to heavy rain in Timergara Khwar.

The torrential rain and snowfall in different parts of Lower Dir continued for the second consecutive day on Thursday. Heavy snowfall at Laram Darra, Shahi, Bin-Shahi, Pato Talash and Toormang forced local people to remain confined to their houses. Link roads leading to hilly areas remained blocked due to snowfall and land sliding.

The Mansehra local government declared emergency in the district to cope with any untoward situation.

The Karakoram Highway and Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road were blocked owing to heavy snowfall and landslide.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2016

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