MANSEHRA: Parts of Hazara and Malakand divisions received heavy snowfall on Friday, blocking roads and suspending power supply.
In Oghi tehsil of Mansehra, first snowfall of winter blocked the Oghi-Battle, Oghi-Battagram and other link roads in the tehsil.
The snowfall started early morning and continued intermittently the entire day in Dilbori, Shungli Bandi, Tilli-Kando and surrounding areas.
“The snowfall will bring up the underground water level to overcome water shortage in the area,” Zahid Khan, a resident of Oghi, told reporters.
Roads in Kaghan, Siren and Konsh valleys remained blocked for the fourth straight day on account of heavy snowfall and landslides.
All main roads in the region, including KKH, remain blocked
Kaghan valley is worst hit because of the continued snowfall as main Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road is still blocked. According to locals, the scenic valley has received over eight feet of snow.
Meanwhile, the rains, which began in Hazara plains on Tuesday, continued intermittently on Friday.
In Shangla, heavy snowfall and rain blocked all roads, including the KKH, bringing to a standstill the routine life.
The Shangla deputy commissioner directed the officials of line departments to ensure their presence on Saturday and Sunday as well in the wake of the severe weather situations.
The plains like Alpuri, Deharai, Bely Baba, Lelonai, Shahpur, Ajmeer, Damorai and Kandaw, received two feet of snow while hilly areas received three to five feet of snow. The snow also blocked Swat-Bisham, Alpuri-Puran and other link roads. Police said score of vehicles were stuck in snow at the Shangla top.
Electricity supply to Bisham city, Alpuri, Puran, Chakesar and other areas remained suspended for last five days.
In Battagram, heavy snow and rain, which started on Tuesday night and continued with intervals till filing of this report on Friday night, turned the weather chilly. It was the first snowfall of the season.
Because of rain and snowfall in some hilly parts of Allai tehsil roads were blocked. Heavy snowfall was also reported from Rashang, Gangwal, Galey Maidan, Chail Sar and other areas of the district. Deputy commissioner Sardar Asad Haroon told Dawn that the district machinery had been pressed into action to deal with any unpleasant incident.
In Abbottabad, Galyat Development Authority has established a control room which will be working round the clock to monitor snow removing process from the Abbottabad-Murree road and keeping the tourists updated about the progress.
Talking to reporters after a visit to Nathiagali and other parts of Galyat to supervise the snow removing activity, the newly-pointed DG GDA Inayatullah Waseem said he had directed the contractor to ensure that the main road remained clear of snow. He said he had also cancelled the leaves of technical staff of GDA.
According to reports, one to two feet of snow had fallen in upper areas of Thandyiani, Galyat and Ayubia and further snowfall is expected.
In Kohat, heavy rain lashed the district on Friday after four days of drizzle.
According to local Met office, rain was expected to continue in Kohat and adjoining tribal belt in next two days.
The people thronged the flea (landa) bazaars after the weather became chilly and pulled out woolen shawls and sweaters at last after the famous winter ‘Tirah winds’ gripped the area.
The heavy rain started on Thursday night and was recorded at 12 millimeter by the Met office which said that it would also rain on Saturday.
The Met office of PAF said heavy snow fall was going on in Orakzai and Karram Agencies and on the mountains of Hangu, and therefore all air movement had been stopped in the region.
Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2017