PESHAWAR / DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Heavy rain, snow and hail brought another round of destruction in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata), leaving at least 12 dead and over 25 injured in various incidents across the region.
Many roads were rendered unusable, much to the consternation of both pedestrians and motorists. Heavy rainfall and snowfall was recorded in Malam Jabba, Kalam, and Dir. Upper Dir was particularly affected with five feet of snowfall accompanied by heavy downpour disrupting routine life.
In Pir Sadai, Mardan, the roof of Saeed’s house collapsed, killing his son Zahid and injuring his other son Abid. They were rushed to the Mardan District Headquarters Hospital.
A woman and her three children (all minors) were injured when their roof fell through in Mian Kalay, Mardan. Further south, a child drowned in a stream and died in Nowshera district.
Zahid Khan died and another person was injured when a roof collapsed in Mandani, Charsadda. Three others were injured in Hango in a similar incident.
Two children were killed and three others were injured when the roof of Ashraf Khan’s house caved in at Sor Kamar, Jamrud. The injured were shifted to Jamrud Civil Hospital. Two were injured in a similar episode in Halimzai, Mohmand Agency.
Landslides killed three people and injured five others in Chitral district. A landslide hit Hazrat Wali’s residence and killed his wife and daughter on the spot, injuring four others, while an avalanche killed one person in Garam Chashma, Kalash Valley.
Rain and hail in Tank and DI Khan, and heavy snowfall on the mountains of North and South Waziristan also resulted in loss of life and property.
In Birmal tehsil, Wana, heavy snowfall caused a roof to collapse, injuring a woman and six children. On Gomal Zam Road, which links South Waziristan Agency to DI Khan, a sedan was flooded resulting in the driver’s demise.
Eye witness Ala Khan told The Express Tribune hefty stones were sliding down mountains onto Gomal Zam Road, and security forces were busy trying to clear the route.
A revenue official, Haibath Khan was killed by lightning in Kora Ghera, Tank. In Nershiz, Tank, where displaced persons from the Mehsud tribe are settled, the roof of an IDP’s house buckled and injured two children.
DI Khan received heavy rains which damaged communication lines and caused blackouts in parts of the city.
In Londa Sharif, a roof caved in, killing Alam Shir Khan’s wife. Another woman was injured when lightning struck her in Zafarabad Colony. She was rushed to DI Khan’s District Headquarters Hospital for treatment.
In Peshawar, a man was killed in Regi area when the roof of his residence caved in on Wednesday.
Major traffic arteries were flooded with water in the city, partially a result of overflowing sewerage pipes spewing their contaminated contents onto the roads and making life harder for pedestrians.
The city received more than 15 millimeters of rain as the downpour which started Tuesday night continued till Wednesday noon. Wind chill intensified, and a minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 17 degrees Celsius were recorded.
An official from the Met Office in Peshawar said more rainfall was expected on Wednesday night.
According to the Met Office, 66 millimeters (mm) of rain was recorded in Parachinar, 53 mm in Darosh, 46mm in Dir, 50 mm in Bannu, 27mm in DI Khan, 24 mm in Kalam, 23 mm in Saidu Sharif, 23 mm in Malam Jabba, 28 mm in Kohat, 20 mm in Chitral, 20 mm in Patan, 20 mm in Lower Dir, 15 mm in Risalpur, 19 mm in Chirat and 8 mm in Abbottabad.
Eleven inches of snow was recorded in Malam Jabba, 10 inches in Kalam, 4 inches in Mir Kani, 2 inches in Chitral and 6.5 mm in Darosh.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2013.