A white winter: Snow in G-B gives residents reason to step out

Published: December 28, 2015
Children play in snow in Skardu. PHOTO COURTESY: RAZA QASIR

Children play in snow in Skardu. PHOTO COURTESY: RAZA QASIR

GILGIT: Residents of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) received their first real taste of winter on Sunday as valleys in the mountainous region saw snow after at least four years.

“This is amazing, simply amazing to be in the midst of snow,” said Raza Mohammad, a resident of Ghanche district where more than four inches of snowfall was recorded over the past two days.

“Usually the winter brings extreme cold but this time, the snow also brought more colour to our life,” said Raza about the crystalline blanket covering the landscape. This recent snowfall also blocked traffic on highways leading to high altitude areas in Astore, Baltistan and Hunza and Gojal valleys. Gilgit city was the only exception though it received snow on the peaks.

The 10-degree drop in temperature made life harder for locals who face tough conditions as water freezes in pipes and heating options remain limited. Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Yaseen Ghizer, said the temperature has dropped to -10 degree and snowfall continues to lash the valley. However, that did not hinder residents of Gilgit city who visited Hunza to enjoy the snow. “This is so lovely, we enjoyed it a lot,” said Khalid Hussain, a Gilgit resident who was in Gojal on Sunday.

A couple of traffic accidents has also been reported in the region due to slippery roads but without any loss of life. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, more snow on higher altitudes and cold weather in the region will persist in the coming days.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2015.

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