QUETTA/ PESHAWAR/ ISLAMABAD: Chitral has witnessed a record snowfall of 5 feet 3.5 inches since the start of the year, triggering landslide threats and blanketing the district in a sea of white flakes. Pakistan Meteorological Department chief Ghulam Rasul told The Express Tribune that it is being considered as the heaviest snowfall since 2006.
The amount of snowfall recorded in upper Chitral in 2006 was 4.5 feet, he said. “Since 2007, a significant drop was witnessed in the amount of snowfall in upper Chitral,” Rasul stated.
According to the met office report, Chitral’s Chashma villages received 40 inches of snow in the last 24 hours while Barghol 32, Kailash 23 inches and Lowari Tunnel area recorded 28 inches of snow in the day. As many as 12 families were rescued from Chitral after the local administration received threats of avalanches, the DC office said in a statement.
Meanwhile, at least four people were killed in rain and snowfall-related incidents in Balochistan and Hangu on Saturday.
Two persons, including a child, were killed while six others fainted as rain and snow storms hit Balochistan once again.
A convoy of six vehicles carrying 60 passengers lost its way owing to the bad weather. The convoy was travelling from Chagai to Naushki. This led to the death of a child and six others fell unconscious due to the intense cold.
Meanwhile, a woman died of suffocation while a man fainted on Friday in Quetta. According to details, inmates of a house in Killi Paind Khan went to sleep without shutting off their gas heater.
In yet another incident, a child sustained injuries when a wall collapsed.
The continuous downpours caused a flood-like situation in the seasonal rivers which led to the closure of roads and damage to five houses in Naushki and elsewhere in the province.
Separately, two members of a family died when a mud house collapsed in Hangu. According to the district administration, a woman and her child were killed in the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2017.