Pakistan-due-to-heavy-snow-rain-scaled

A tourist walks in snow in Murree, some 60 kilometers north of Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, on Feb. 7, 2019. The recent snowfall in Murree and nearby areas has attracted a large number of tourists from across the country. Courtesy: Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal/IANS

Quetta, Jan 14 (IANS) Heavy snowfall, rain and flash floods have killed at least 30 people in Pakistan, with authorities struggling to clear and reopen highways and evacuate people to safer places as an unusual extreme weather system has entered the country.

A top official in Balochistan said on Monday that 14 people were killed in the last 24 hours in different parts of Pakistan’s largest province, mainly due to roof collapse amid heavy snowfall, reports The News International.

Emergency officials said that the 11 people were killed in Punjab province, battered by heavy rains, while five others died in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir areas.

Meanwhile, traffic was suspended on the Quetta-Chaman highway as the Khozak-Pass linking Pakistan with Afghanistan also received heavy snowfall, bringing a halt to the Afghan transit trade as hundreds of trucks and other goods vehicles remained standard on both sides of the border, said Dawn news in a report.

Around two dozen passengers in four vehicles were trapped in the far-flung area of Kaachar close to Pakistan-Iran border.

Balochistan Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan said the provincial government was fully activated to open roads and to ensure provision of all possible help to the people in rain and snow affected areas.

On Sunday, emergency was declared in Mastung, Qila Abdullah, Kech, Ziarat, Harnai, and Pishin districts of the province due to the heavy snow.

According to Met Office, cold and dry weather was forecast for most parts of province including the capital Quetta for the next 24 hours.

Heavy snowfall in Gilgit-Baltistan has broken a 50-year record, while in Quetta it surpassed a 20-year record.

Source: IANS