MUZAFFARABAD/QUETTA: The current spate of Severe cold, rain, snowfall, and avalanches continued to hitting hundred of building and killing dozens of residents and displaced many others. The top leadership of the country, including both civil and military, on Tuesday directed concerned authorities to make available the humanitarian help to the victim people as soon as possible.
The causalties in these incidents relating to extreme weather across the country has reached to 93, mainly reported in AJK, after Balochistan.
The death toll could further go up as some areas were not still reachable due to heavy snowfall, while weather pundits predicted a fresh spell of snowfall starting on Friday, an official said.
Of the total, 66 people have been killed in the AJK, 20 in Balochistan and at least seven in Sialkot and other districts of Punjab over the past couple of days. The rain-related incidents also led to closure of major roads and highways in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, besides AJK and Balochistan.
According to Neelum Deputy Commissioner, almost 80pc of the casualties had occurred in the small village of Bakwali and Seri in Surgan area of tehsil Sharda. Mr Shahid said at least 84 houses and 17 shops had been levelled by the avalanches while 94 houses and a mosque were partially damaged. Besides, 19 vehicles, including 10 motorbikes, were also damaged, he added.
AJK PM, who was in Islamabad, reconsidered the seriousness of the situation in Neelum valley and measures being taken to mitigate the sufferings of the victims at a meeting which was attended among others by AJK Legislative Assembly speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir. He asked the local administration to try it your level best to alleviate the sufferings of the victim people.
While expressing grief over the deaths in AJK, In his twitter message, PM Khan expressed his grief over the deaths and said that he had directed the miltary and federal ministers to provide humanitarian assistance on an emergency footing to the affected people in AJK.
Mr Qadir said that the real challenge would be ahead after the rescue operation is completed before Friday when another spell of heavy snowfall was expected to start.
In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had expressed grief over the loss of precious lives due to snowslide in the AJK and Balochistan and had directed for continued assistance to civil administration for rescue and relief operation.
The situation in Balochistan, the second most affected province, improved as the provincial disaster management authority with the help of local administration and security forces expedited rescue efforts.
The Official sources said around 100 vehicles, including passenger coaches, coming from Punjab and KP, resumed travel after the highways were cleared of snow.
However, reports reaching here say that despite the rescue operation many link roads were still closed. Hundreds of people trapped in villages, which received four to five-foot snow, were in need of help as minimum temperature dropped to minus 11 in snow-hit areas.
He told a presser that the government utilised all resources to rescue people. He said the national and provincial highways had been opened to traffic while link roads would be opened to traffic within the next couple of days.
He said: “The recent spate of snowfall has broken down 30 years record.”
Mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country in the next 24 hours, with very cold in upper parts and north Balochistan, said the authority in its weekly outlook. Cloudy weather with light rain and snowfall over hills is expected in Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir.
The officials advised people, particularly tourists, to avoid unnecessary travel in snowbound and landslide-prone areas during the prevailing weather conditions.