PESHAWAR\LAHORE – Heavy rains and snowstorms played havoc with different parts of the country on Tuesday, leaving at least 37 people dead.
Bad weather also disrupted domestic and international flights from the country. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD)‚ the rainy spell is likely to persist in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, upper Punjab including Islamabad‚ Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan for next 24 hours.
The highest rainfall of 106 millimetres has been recorded in the Chakwal, followed by 91 in Rawalakot and Saidu Sharif of Swat. Islamabad received 75 millimetres of rainfall. Heavy snowfall in the mountainous regions broke the 30-year-old record.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the most affected part of country where 30 people were reported killed in rain-related incidents.
Four children were killed and nine others were injured in separate incidents of roof collapse in Peshawar. Three people were killed in Badrashi Nowshera and Nizampur, while seven others were injured. Two people were killed and four others were injured when they were hit by an avalanche in Buner. Another three people were killed in a similar incident in Shangla. In Swabu Gadoon Refugee Camp, two children were killed and eight others sustained injuries when roof of their house tumbled.
Four people were killed after a roof crumbled in Haripur, two other got injured. Death in similar incidents also reported in Lakki Marwat, Mardan, Karak, Charsadda, Swat, Bannu Datakhal and Bara Jamrud.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Disaster Management Authority set up a control room in Peshawar to monitor the situation in the wake of ravage caused by rains. Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Javed Marwat told journalists that revenue staff was deputed to monitor the situation in the province and keep close liaison with administration of other districts of the province.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar expressed deep shock and sorrow over the loss of lives and property.
In Punjab, seven people lost lives in rain-related incidents. In Pindi Bhattian area of Hafizabad, wall of a hotel crumbled, killing a man and injuring three others. The injured were shifted to hospital. A man was killed and three others injured when roof of a dilapidated house came down in Dhowk Syedan area of Rawalpindi. Three, including a father and his son, died in separate roof collapse incidents in Okara and Khanewal. A teenage worker was killed while five others wounded when the cattle-shed at a farm collapsed on them in the Johar Town area of Lahore during the downpour, rescue officials said.
The rescuers said that they also retrieved two cattle dead from the debris. The injured were shifted to the Jinnah Hospital.
Heavy rains and snowfall paralysed life in many areas of KPK and tribal areas. Reports coming in from various places said many valleys in Abbottabad, Swat, Mansehra and Shangla districts were cut off from the rest of the country due to heavy snowfall and landslides. The Karakorum highway has been blocked at some places due to snowfall.
Inclement weather has also damaged power supply and telecommunication lines.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) predicted scattered rain in upper and southern parts of Sindh for next few days.
Meanwhile, heavy rains and bad weather badly disrupted PIA flights schedule across the country. The national carrier spokesperson said the passengers should contact the authorities concerned to get flight confirmation before leaving their homes.
Reports stated that PK 300 Karachi-Islamabad was diverted to Lahore due to bad weather on Tuesday.
Similarly, PK 308 Karachi-Islamabad departed at 7pm with a three-hour delay and PK 306 Karachi-Lahore left with a three hours delay.
“PK 309 Islamabad-Karachi scheduled to depart at 9pm was late for two hours and PK 341 Faisalabad-Multan was delayed for eight hours,” said sources.
An official said that PK-211 Islamabad-Dubai departed with five-hour delay and PK 711 Islamabad-Birmingham was six-hour late. Similarly, they said PK 721 Karachi-Lahore-Manchester was late for 15 hours and PK 729 Karachi-Riyadh departed nine hours behind the schedule.