Snow, rain paralyse upper NWFP

January 09, 2008


CHITRAL, Jan 8: Heavy snowfall and rain paralysed life in upper parts of the NWFP, particularly in Hazara and Malakand regions and the adjoining tribal areas.

Kalam, Malam Jabba, Chitral, Shangla and Galyat received three to six feet of snow.

Heavy snowfall and rain affected life in Chitral district where several areas received more than four feet of snow. Power supply to several areas was disrupted.

The district has been disconnected from the national grid plunging the area into darkness.

Vehicular traffic came to a standstill as the snowfall made roads impossible.

Government offices and markets remained closed as people confined themselves to their homes.

The PIA flights to Chitral remained suspended for the seven days consecutively. The commodities of daily consumption are also on the short supply.

Officials told Dawn in Mansehra that torrential rains and snowfall had triggered landslides in many areas of the district and damaged road network. Karakorum Highway, linking the country with China has blocked at Khara in Kohistan district while avalanches blocked Mansehra-Kaghan road at various locations.

About 50,000 residents in Kaghan Valley had been cut off from the rest of the country due to the road blockade. Kaghan valley received about four feet snow.

Widespread rains lashed high altitude and low-lying areas of the NWFP and tribal area.

The Met office in Peshawar said that Balakot received 25mm rains, Malam Jaba 40mm, Saidu Sharif 50mm, Chitral 22mm, Parachinar 24mm, Risalpur 17mm, Kakol (Abbottabad) 11.7mm, Kohat 9mm and Charat 9mm rains. The Met office forecast more rains in low altitude areas and heavy snowfall in the highlands of the province and tribal region.

Heavy snowfall and widespread rains had also brought life to standstill in the restive Swat district. Reports said that picturesque Kalam valley had received six feet snow while snow was also falling in Malam Jaba, Merghuzar and Miadam areas of Swat district.

Stormy weather is also taking toll on people in Shangla district which received heavy snow.

Shangla top linking the district with Swat and other link roads had been closed for traffic owing to land sliding while heavy snow disrupted telecommunication service in the area.

Our Abbottabad correspondent adds: Life is completely paralysed in Galyat due to heavy snow fall in the area.

Road between Abbottabad and Muree via Galyat is closed for traffic due to land sliding and avalanches.

Ayubia has also cut off from the entire country after the town received two to three feet snow while all the link roads in Galyat are completely blocked due to snow fall.

Snow blower was brought to clear road between Nathiagali and Kalabagh towns.

Rains and chilly weather also forced the people to restrict their routine activities and attendance in the offices was very thin. Hours long loadshedding had further added to the miseries of the people.