34 dead as heavy snowfall, rain ravage country
LAHORE – Severe winter has struck parts of Pakistan, with heavy snowfall, rains and flash floods have killed at least 34 people across the country.
According to details, 17 people have died in Quetta while 13 others have sustained injures in the past 24 hours, mostly when roofs collapsed amid heavy snowfall. The casualties include children and women.
Met Office has issued a warning statement saying: “Risk of closure of inter cities connecting roads due to heavy snowfall and rains in the districts of Swat, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Murree, Galyat, Neelum, Bagh, Haveli, Rawalakot, Astore, Hunza and Skardu on Monday(Night). Heavy rains may trigger landslides and Avalanches in Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Malakand and Hazara districts.”
Authorities struggled to clear and reopen highways and evacuate people to safer places.
On the other hand, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan visited Quetta and other areas, and extended his condolences on the demise of people. He instructed the authorities to give access to the disconnected areas.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Punjab Usman Bazdar called Jamal Kamal Khan and expressed his regret over the loss of valuable lives and also offered all kind of assistance to the Balochistan government.
Land sliding and snowfall in Azad Kashmir killed 10 people, injured 12, damaged 23 buildings and destroyed three vehicles. The land contact between Neelum and Leepa Valley is also disconnected, while over 6 feet of snow has fallen over the mountains.
One girl was killed and seven others were injured when a roof collapsed in Sukkur. A roof also fell owing to the rains in Jhang, in which a girl died and two people were injured. Two girls were killed in Khanewal as well. Two victims of the Tibet Glacier have been rescued.
A strong westerly wave is affecting most upper and central parts of the country and likely to persist in upper parts till Tuesday morning.
Mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while partly cloudy weather with light rain and snowfall over hills is expected in Gilgit Baltistan. Fog is likely to prevail in plain areas of Punjab and Sindh during night and morning hours.
Skardu’s 26-year record of severe snowfall broke in January. Closed roads have paralyzed system of life. 8 inches of snow in Hunza as the residents of the area suffer from severe problems. Malam Jabba received the highest 60 mm of rainfall and 36 inches of snow.
Galyat in Murree and Neelum in Azad Kashmir have been closed owing to the heavy snowfall. Two feet of snow poured in Ayubia, Nathia Gali and Changla Gali, affecting the life of the system.
Heavy rains are also expected to cause landsliding and snowfall in areas of Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Malakand and Hazara.