22 killed as rain, snowfall batter KP for second day

Published March 3, 2024
A view of Kalam Bazaar after heavy snowfall in Swat. — Dawn
A view of Kalam Bazaar after heavy snowfall in Swat. — Dawn

PESHAWAR: With downpour and snowfall battering large parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the second consecutive day on Saturday, at least 22 people were killed and 25 injured in separate incidents.

Most of the deceased and injured were children, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority.

It said 14 children lost lives and 16 suffered injuries in weather-related mishaps.

The PDMA said five children were killed in two incidents in Bajaur tribal district.

Two girls were killed and two women injured in a roof collapse incident in the Saro Ado area.

Also, a landslide hit a house in the Ghake Bandu area of Loi Mamond tehsil, killing three children.

Met dept forecasts more downpour

Four people, including three children, lost lives in separate rain-related incidents in Malakand district.

A roof collapse claimed four lives in Dheri Alladhand village. Two children were killed and three injured in the Kacha Koper area when the roof of their room caved in due to heavy rainfall.

A child and her mother were killed in a similar incident, which left two girls and their father critically injured.

Three members of a family, including a minor child, were killed in the Moli Khat area of Lower Dir district when a mudslide hit a house. A minor boy was injured in the incident.

Similarly, a child lost his life and two suffered injuries in a roof collapse in Lakki Marwat district, while a minor was killed and three were injured when the roof of their house in Mardan district collapsed.

A similar incident killed two Afghan children and injured their mother and sibling in the Tajabad area of Peshawar. A roof collapse led to the death of a child and injuries to his mother and a sibling in the Masho Gagar area of the provincial capital.

Four people were killed and two injured when a landslide hit their house in the Chatekal area of Matta tehsil in Swat district.

Rescue 1122 said its workers pulled out the bodies and the injured from the rubble and were trying to save the lives of three trapped people.

Rabnawaz died of electric shock in the Khania area of Mansehra district.

He was electrocuted after he touched a power line while cutting down tree branches.

Meanwhile, the rain continued to lash Peshawar for the second consecutive day.

The rainwater accumulated on University Road, GT Road, and other major roads, causing traffic congestion. Part of the University Road caved in near Tehkal Bala due to heavy rain, resulting in a traffic mess.

A man clears debris after a house collapsed due to continuous rain in Nauthia locality of Peshawar on Saturday. — White Star
A man clears debris after a house collapsed due to continuous rain in Nauthia locality of Peshawar on Saturday. — White Star

The continuing downpour also led to the suspension of electric supply across the province. A total of 234 power feeders were tripped, according to the Peshawar Electric Supply Company.

The power utility said in a statement that it had restored electricity supply from 122 feeders, but it was struggling to do so from others due to the continuous rainfall.

It, however, said its workers were working round the clock to restore power supply.

Abbottabad, Galiyat, Thandiyani, Ayubia, and other surrounding hilly areas of Abbottabad district received the heaviest snowfall of the season, which led to the closure of Abbottabad-Murree Road to all sorts of traffic at different points. More than one and a half feet of snow fell on the main road and two to three feet on the upper hills of Mira Jani and Mosa Da Musalla.

The meteorological department forecast more snowfall in the district.

All link roads in the Galiyat region were closed due to heavy snowfall.

The Galiyat Development Authority cleared snow from roads in Toheedabad near Ayubia twice, road was completely closed, which was cleared by the GDA staff, and all the snow removal machinery was alert on the road, but due to the chilly weather, , snow removal operation could not be started in full strength.

The closure of the major snow-hit road in Toheedabad, near Ayubia, was also reported.

Two-three feet of snow fell in Donga Gali, Changla Gali, Ayubia Koza Gali, and Bara Gali.

Tourists thronged Galiyat, especially Nathiagali. Traffic police claimed they had made special arrangements for the help of tourists in an emergency.

The Abbottabad-Thandiyani Road was closed from Kala Pani onward. Two feet of snow were recorded in Thandiyani.

Heavy snowfall in Swat district’s Malam Jabba and surrounding areas paralysed life. Road closures left tourists stranded. The locals were restricted to their homes.

The Asharey Road leading to Malam Jabba was closed due to heavy landslides on Friday, but it was reopened to traffic 24 hours later.

The residents said only four-wheel-drive vehicles with snow chains could go to Malam Jabba Top.

Four feet of snow in Kalam and its surroundings led to the closure of Kalam Road beyond the Laikot and Matiltan areas. All link roads in Kalam were closed to snowfall.

The district administration and Upper Swat Development Authority deployed heavy machinery to clear snow from the roads.

In Shangla district, the Karakoram Highway, Bisham-Swat Road, and other major and link roads were blocked due to landslides. A house collapsed in the Kamach area of Martung tehsil. However, the residents remained safe.

Snowfall and downpour for the third consecutive day paralysed life in the upper parts of Shangla district. The Karakoram Highway was blocked at several points between Shangla and Kohistan. The closure of Bisham-Swat, Alpuri-Puran, and Karora-Kana roads was also reported.

Deputy director of the National Highways Authority for the Shangla-Kohistan region Ghulam Abbas told Dawn that the KKH was blocked at more than 15 points.

He said efforts were under way to clear boulders from the roads.

A Rescue 1122 official said the Bisham-Swat Road was blocked at multiple points, leaving people travelling to and from Bisham stranded on the way.

He said the Alpuri-Puran Road in the Yakhtangay area, Chakisar Road, Karora-Kana Road, and other major and link roads were blocked due to heavy snowfall and a landslide.

In Swabi district, a private school bus fell into a drain along the Swabi-Jehangira Road.

However, all the students and others on board were unharmed.

The emergency disaster team pulled the bus out with the help of heavy machinery.

Torrential rain inundated several areas of the district, troubling people.

In the Sazeen and Farsh Morr areas of the Upper Hazara region, too, landslides blocked the Karakoram Highway to traffic.

The traffic between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan also remained suspended all through the day.

Heavy snowfall blocked link roads in the Kaghan, Siran and Konsh valleys of Mansehra district and the Spat and Kandia valleys of Upper Kohistan.

Several house roofs collapsed in Mohmand district. However, no damage to public life was reported.

A similar incident was reported when a government girls’ school collapsed in the Gadar area of Lower Dir district after school hours.

Heavy snowfall on Lowari Top and near Lowari Tunnel suspended traffic from Dir to Chitral. Workers of the administration failed to clear snow from the road due to incessant heavy snowfall.

Heavy rain was also reported in the plains and snowfall on the hilltops of Lower and Upper Dir districts for the third consecutive day, paralysing life.

The main Timergara-Peshawar Road was blocked for over four hours due to the flooding of a stream in the Shamshi Khan Talash area. The Talash Bypass Road was also closed. Attendance in schools, colleges, and offices was thin due to inclement weather.

Heavy rains disrupted electric supply by uprooting several poles in many areas.

Prolonged power and gas outages were also reported in Kohat.

The meteorological department forecast rain and snowfall for Sunday, too.

It said downpour coupled with strong winds and thunderstorms and snowfall over the hills was expected in Chitral, Dir, Swat, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Haripur, Swabi, Mardan, Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Bajaur, Khyber, Mohmand, Kurram, and Kohat districts.

The department said Upper Dir recorded 120mm rainfall, Upper Dir 90, Saidu Sharif 90, Malam Jabba 88, Mardan 77, Chitral 75, Chirat 62, Peshawar 58, Pattan 56, 45, Balakot 42, Parachinar 12, and Dera Ismail Khan 2, while 10 inches of snow fell in Kalam, six in Malam Jabba, four in Chitral, and two in Drosh.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Tough talks
Updated 16 Apr, 2024

Tough talks

The key to unlocking fresh IMF funds lies in convincing the lender that Pakistan is now ready to undertake real reforms.
Caught unawares
Updated 16 Apr, 2024

Caught unawares

The government must prioritise the upgrading of infrastructure to withstand extreme weather.
Going off track
16 Apr, 2024

Going off track

LIKE many other state-owned enterprises in the country, Pakistan Railways is unable to deliver, while haemorrhaging...
Iran’s counterstrike
Updated 15 Apr, 2024

Iran’s counterstrike

Israel, by attacking Iran’s diplomatic facilities and violating Syrian airspace, is largely responsible for this dangerous situation.
Opposition alliance
15 Apr, 2024

Opposition alliance

AFTER the customary Ramazan interlude, political activity has resumed as usual. A ‘grand’ opposition alliance ...
On the margins
15 Apr, 2024

On the margins

IT appears that we are bent upon taking the majoritarian path. Thus, the promise of respect and equality for the...