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Rain death toll reaches five

February 14, 2018


PESHAWAR: The death toll from the fresh spell of rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday increased to five after four more people were killed in two separate incidents in Peshawar and Lower Dir.

The Rescue 1122 said a house collapsed in the Lal Kurti area of Peshawar cantonment area killing a man and his son and injuring his wife.

Its spokesman, Bilal Faizi, said Abdul Jamil, 55, and his son, Noman, 8, died and his wife suffered injuries in the incident, which took place in the early hours of the day.

Also in the morning, two women died in an incident of roof collapse in Hasham village in Lower Dir.

The local residents and police said the two were making breakfast when the roof of their kitchen caved in.

They said they pulled the women out of the debris and shifted them to the nearby Munda hospital but were pronounced dead by doctors.

Lower Dir district police officer Nowsher Khan and assistant commissioner Jandol Noorul Amin visited the house, condoled deaths and assured the family of the government’s assistance.

The ‘Situation Report’ issued by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority in the day said during the last 24 hours, Malam Jabba area of Swat received 66 millimeters of rain, Cherat 46, Lower Dir 45, Saidu Sharif 43, Kakul 34, Balakot 31, Mirkhani 27, Parachinar and Pattan 25, Peshawar city 21, Kalam 13, Drosh 12, Chitral 8 and Bannu and Risalpur 4.

It added that Malam Jabba received 30 inches of snowfall, Kalam seven and Dir six during the period.

The report said the snowfall had closed most roads in Galiyat area of Abbottabad district and that the KP Highway Authority was working to clear roads near Barrian and Kala Bagh; the communication and works department had deployed machinery in Samundar Katta and Thandiani areas, and Galiyat Development Authority had mobilised its machinery.

As the snow lashed upper parts of the country, tourists from across the country on Tuesday visited various areas of Shangla district and enjoyed snowfall.

Both upper and lower parts of the district received snowfall in the last three days with snow blanketing the region.

“I witnessed snowfall for the first time. It’s an amazing experience for us all friends. We enjoyed a lot in the snowfall. Though the blocked road troubled us, the visit to Shangla was excellent,” said Shabbir Hussain of Lahore.

Shanza Khan of Peshawar, who visited Shangla Top with family, said Shangla was a paradise on the earth but it needed proper attention of the government for tourist facilitation.

She complained that the area lacked basic facilities for tourists.

Around five feet of snow fell in Speen Ghar, Gamtal and Kapar Banda areas, while around three feet of snow was reported in Yakhtangay, Shangla top, Amnvi and Manrai Sar areas.

Also, power supply to Bisham city and its suburbs remained suspended for the second consecutive day inconveniencing the local residents.

A local Pesco official said efforts were underway to restore electric supply.

He said some electric poles were pulled down by rains and snowstorm in Battagram.

In Chitral, too, intermittent rains and snowfall were reported.

The weathermen said the region received from three to four feet snow.

Snowfall in Lowari Pass area suspended vehicular traffic to and from the district.

The Met Office forecast more rains and snowfall.

SHO of Ashurate police station Abdul Muzafar Shah told Dawn that the police personnel tried to help motorists cross the Lowari tunnel’s approach road but failed as the road was covered by around three feet snow.

He said it was overcast in the area with almost zero visibility, while there was a high likelihood of snowfall.

Hundreds of vehicles carrying passengers remained stranded on both sides of the Lowari Pass waiting for the clearing of weather. However, the forecast for more rains worried them.

Also in the day, the roads leading to many valleys of upper Chitral and Lotkoh area, including Gobor Pass, were closed to traffic for being dangerous due to rockslides.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2018