Three die as rain, snowfall lash parts of country

February 05, 2017

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Two men shovel snow outside their houses in Chitral. ─Online
Two men shovel snow outside their houses in Chitral. ─Online

LAHORE: Two children and a woman died in weather-related incidents as heavy rain and snowfall lashed parts of the country on Saturday.

The Met department has forecast above normal rain and snowfall in upper parts of the country during the current month.

A two-year-old boy and his mother died when their house collapsed in Ghoz Garhi village in the Kurram Agency near the Afghan border.

A child died and six people fell conscious due to severe cold after being stranded in the Nushki area of Balochistan because of inclement weather.

A convoy of six vehicles carrying 60 members of a wedding party was going to Nushki from Chagai when it lost its way and was stranded in a marshland in the Zarocha area.

The child and six other people could not survive the freezing cold. Others were rescued and shifted to safe places by the local administration and army personnel.

In another incident, a child suffered injuries when a wall collapsed.

According to the meteorological department, two to three weather systems are likely to pass across the country, resulting in slightly above normal rain / snowfall in February. More than normal snowfall is expected in the mountainous areas of upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

Fog intensity is expected to gradually reduce in the plains of KP, Punjab and upper Sindh.

On Saturday, the westerly wave generated heavy rain and snowfall in a number of areas in KP and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). It rained in scattered areas in Punjab and Balochistan and at isolated places in Karachi and Sukkur divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Chitral recorded 63mm (2.48 inches) of rainfall, Dir 40, Drosh 34, Parachinar and Lower Dir 30, Mirkhani and Kalam 29, Peshawar 29, Saidu Sharif 20, Cherat 18, Pattan 15, Bannu 14, Kohat 11, Dera Ismail Khan 3, Zhob 21, Khuzdar 12, Quetta 11, Kalat 9, Kamra 5, Sibi, Islamabad, Toba Tek Singh, Sargodha and Jhang 3 and Mianwali, Jhelum, Mangla, Sahiwal, Faisalabad and Murree 2.

Golain in KP received three feet of snowfall, Bindogol 2.5, Kalam 2, Chitral 1.5, Malam Jabba eight inches, Drosh four inches and Parachinar three inches.

It remained partly cloudy in Lahore as strong winds continued to blow throughout the day.

More rain and heavy snowfall are expected in a number of areas in upper parts of the country, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan during the next 24 hours. Rain is also expected at scattered places in upper and south Punjab.

PESHAWAR: Heavy downpour and snowfall have partially paralysed life in the mountainous areas of KP and Fata.

Widespread rains and snowfall, which started late Friday night, continued in KP and Fata on Saturday. Heavy snow and avalanches have blocked roads in the mountainous areas.

Chitral, Kalam, Malam Jabba, Kaghan, Naran, Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency and Parachinar received heavy snow which lowered mercury below the freezing point.

Roads leading to Tirah have been blocked after 1.5 feet snow fell in the valley. Heavy snowfall has been reported from Orakzai Agency also.

Bad weather has resulted in suspension of power supply to several areas in Malakand and Hazara divisions.

QUETTA: Downpour and snowfall again hit different parts of Balochistan on Saturday, leading to the blockade of the National Highway from Quetta to Chaman.

Continuous showers caused a flood-like situation in seasonal streams which led to the blockade of roads and damage to five houses in Nushki and elsewhere in the province.

Loadshedding of electricity and gas in snow-hit areas have added to the miseries of the people.

According to the Met Office, temperature touched subzero degrees at places and was recorded at minus six degrees Celsius in Quetta and minus one in Kalat

The Met office has predicted rains and snowfall in the highland areas for another two days.

The Nushki areas where streams have swelled include Killi Kithiar and Qadirabad.

Kojak Pass has been closed for vehicular traffic near Chaman and snow is being removed by heavy machinery to reopen it.

A complaint cell set up at the Chief Minister House is in contact with the authorities concerned for the redress of complaints of affected people.

GILGIT: People of Gilgit Baltistan again experienced chilly weather and hardships as intermittent rain and snowfall in the hilly areas of the region continued on Saturday.

Due to inclement weather conditions, flights between Islamabad and Gilgit and Skardu continued to be suspended for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday.

The Karakoram Highway has been blocked in the Kohistan area of KP, disconnecting GB people’s access to other parts of the country.

Link roads in upper parts of the region have been blocked by snowfall. Electricity supply remained disturbed in some areas.

Astore was the coldest place in GB with its minimum temperature falling to the mark of minus five degree centigrade.

Inayat Abdali, a resident of the Phander area of Ghizer district, told Dawn that Phander, Gulakmuli and Hundarap had received up to four feet snowfall.

Electricity supply to villages had been suspended for the last two days and local residents were facing difficulty in obtaining items of daily use, he said. The only road in the area has been blocked after land sliding.

Hundreds of yaks had been stranded in Ghizer, he said.

Strong winds blew in upper areas of Hunza district, uprooting trees, demolishing walls and damaging wooden cabins in Passu, Hussani, Ghulkin, Shishkat and Gulmit villages.

Electricity supply was suspended after strong winds damaged transmission lines in Gojal Valley.

Zulfiqar Ali from Peshawar, Saleem Shahid from Quetta and Jamil Nagri from Gilgit also contributed to this report.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2017