41 killed as cold weather wreaks havoc across Pakistan

Hundreds of passengers were stuck on the roads in harsh weather on Monday night as a massive snowstorm wreaked havoc in different parts of Balochistan. Photo: File

At least 41 people have been killed across the country as severe winter weather continued across the country bringing life to a standstill, Geo News reported.

According to Imran Zarkon, chief of provincial disaster management, 22 people have died in the last 24 hours, mainly due to roofs collapsed amid heavy snowfall in Balochistan. The heavy snowfall had forced closures of many highways, with some parts in the province under six inches of snow. Three people were killed in Punjab province, battered by heavy rains, and 15 others died in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), officials with the state-run emergency service said.

While in Sindh, one person lost his life as a result of heavy rains in Sukkur.

In Afghanistan, harsh weather conditions have led to the death of at least 24 people, according to the ministry for disaster management, reported The News.

Highways blocked

Hundreds of passengers, including women and infants, were stuck on the roads in harsh weather on Monday night as a massive snowstorm wreaked havoc in different parts of Balochistan.

Levies officials said that more than 500 passengers were stranded in Kan Mehtarzai area of Killa Saifullah district, where temperatures dipped to as low as -14°C while heavy snowfall and strong winds almost buried cars on the main National Highway.

The MET Office has forecast cold and dry weather for most parts of Balochistan for the next 24 hours.

Emergency had been declared in seven districts of Balochistan, which were badly affected due to heavy rain and snowfall.

Record snowfall

According to The News, 23-inch snowfall was recorded in parts of Chitral district including Lowari Tunnel.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall in Gilgit-Baltistan have broken the 50-year record. An emergency has been declared in Hunza and Nagar after continued rain and snowfall for the last 36 hours paralysed life in the northern region.

Authorities have advised people to avoid travelling through mountainous routes owing to the threat of landslides. The snowfall has also greatly affected the electricity distribution system in Gilgit Baltistan coupling the hardship of locals.

Meanwhile, five persons including two women were buried alive and three others injured, in two separate incidents of snow avalanches in the snow-clad Neelam valley of the AJK during the last 24 hours, official sources said.