GB, Chitral disconnected from other parts of country as extreme cold sweeps across Pakistan

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Staff Report

Islamabad

A landslide near Dasu, Kohistan caused authorities to block the Karakoram Highway for all kinds of traffic on Monday.

The Astore Valley Road was also blocked in Dashki. Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority Director General Fareeh Ahmed also advised residents to avoid unnecessary travel.

Meanwhile, Chitral has been disconnected from rest of the country as heavy snowfall continued and the main road of the district has been blocked due to avalanche near Lowari Tunnel at Baradam area.

Chitral and its adjoining areas are receiving heavy snowfall from Sunday night resulting in closure of all roads in the district for traffic.

The main road link connecting Chitral with down country is also closed due to heavy snow near Lawari Tunnel.

An ice avalanche fell near Lawari Tunnel in Baradam area as a result of which road link has been closed for vehicular traffic, informed SHO Police Station Ashriat.

He said areas including Booni, Mastooj, Garam Chisma, Kehlash valley, Torkhaho are totally disconnected.

In Galiyat and Abbottabad life was disrupted due to harsh weather and heavy snowfall, which, according to predictions by the Met Department, will continue. Several feet snow blocked roads leading to and out of the areas and the Galiyat Development Authority advised tourists not to travel to Nathiagali, Dunga Gali, Changla Gali, Ayubia and Thandiyani until the roads have cleared up.

At least 30 villages, including Namli Mera, Keri Raieky, Kala Bagh, Ziarat Masoom, Bakot, Phalkot, Bagan, Ayubia, Jsatar, are completely disconnected from Nathiagali due to the weather.

The local police have been directed to remain on high alert and assist tourists that are already in the weather-affected areas.

The road leading from Abbottabad to Nathiagali has been completely closed off for all sorts of traffic from Bagnoter onward and Abbottabad-Thandiyani road has been blocked from Kala Pani.

The Met Office has predicted rain on Tuesday in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and said that the temperature will further drop.

On Monday, the residents of Lahore woke up to heavy spells of rain.

The Met Office recorded 0 degree Celsius in Islamabad while 4 degree Celsius in Rawalpindi and -2 degree Celsius in Murree. “The cold breeze in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad was due to minus temperature in Murree,” said an official of the Met Office.

He said a strong westerly wave had entered Balochistan.

He said widespread rain is expected in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir while at scattered places in districts of Sindh and Punjab including Islamabad.

“Snowfall is also expected in hilly areas of Balochistan, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir,” he said.

The Met Office also issued flash floods warning for Turbat, Kech, Panjgur, Kalat, Quetta and Awaran.

Due to the cloudy weather, the traditional winter specialties like Doodh Jalebi, Gajar ka Halwa, chicken corn soup, Kashmiri tea and other items were in high demand.