Rain, snowfall trouble people in KP hilly areas
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Dawn Report | 1/5/2017 12:00:00 AM
PESHAWAR: Light rain continued to fallin the provincial capitalintermittently all through Wednesday.

Upper parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa received rain and snow consecutively for the second day.

One millimeter rainfall was recorded in Peshawar.

The prolonged dry spell had ended on Tuesday after rains and snowfall was recorded in hilly areas like Malam Jabba, Kalam and Bisham and adjoining parts of Swat district.

Parachinar area of Kurram Agency was the coldest in the region as the temperature dropped four degrees below the freezing point on Wednesday.

Malam Jabba, a winter tourist destination in Swat valley, received 18 inches of snow and 36 millimeters rain, while Kalam, another tourist destination in Swat valley, also received 14 inches of snow on Wednesday.

Upper districts like Dir also received 49 millimeters rains on Wednesday, the Met Office in Peshawar said.

The dry spell continuing since the summer season last year ended on Tuesday as it rained lightly though.

The rainy weather prevailed on Wednesday, too, bringing snow and bringing temperatures down in hilly areas.

Upper parts of Hazara division also receivedheavysnowfallonWednesday for the second consecutive day.

Although rains brought smiles on many faces, people living in remote parts of Mansehra complained the rainy weather brought them misery.

The police were told to remain alert in Kaghan valley after heavy snowfall.

`We have already closed four checkposts in Kaghan valley and another one is closed in Naran following snowfall and entry of tourists to the restricted areas of the valley fearing mishaps,` district police officer of Mansehra Ahsan Saifullah said.

Torghar and Kohistan districts also remained chilly on Wednesday due to snowfall.

The main arteries in upper parts of Hazara, including Mansehra-NaranJalkhad Road and Karakoram Highway, remained blocked due to landslides and heavy snowfall.

The link roads leading to high-altitude areas in siren and Konsh valleys of Mansehra and Kandia and other such valleys in Kohistan were closedaf ter snowfall.

Known for its historical white palace and scenic beauty, Marghazar valley in Swat attracted large crowds of visitors after the first snowfall of the year.

Marghazar located at the distance of around 12km in south of Mingora has a landmark building of the formerly Swat state called the `White Palace`.

In the winter season, the valley is the nearest destination for those who love to enjoy snowfall. This year the valley received its first snowfall along with Malam Jabba, Miandam, Lalko, Bahrain and Kalam valleys.

`It really looks magical when the valley wears the white snow blanket, said Usman Ali, a visitor from Mingora, who came to the `White Palace` to enjoy snowfall with his friends.

Tourists also enjoyed looking at the tiny village houses lool(ing beautiful dusted with snow inside the small hamlets of the valley.

Besides locals, tourists from different parts of the country also visited Swat valley to enjoy snowfall.

`Every year, we visit Murree, Naran or Swat to see snowfall. This year, we visited Marghazar valley.

Afterwards, we will go to Malam Jabba and other resorts in Swat,` said Abdul Latif of Rawalpindi, who was in Marghazar with family.

Snowfall and rain also continued in Shangla district for the second consecutive day.

Heavy snow, however, caused a bit of difficulty for locals in commuting on Swat-Bisham linl(s roads, which were closed due to heavy snowfall, while the communication system of the district was also suspended.

Snowfall and rain began in the district on Tuesday morning, while after hilly areas, plain areas including Alpuri, Bely baba, Lelonai, Dehrai, Basi and other parts also received heavy snowfall.

According to local residents, hilly areas, Ajmeer, Shangla top, Amnavi, Kandaw, Gamtal, Yakhtangy have received heavy snow.

A jeep also fells into a ravine due to the snowfall. However, no damage to human life was reported.

On the other hand, Deputy Commissioner Shangla Abdul Kabir Khan banned anyone traveling without a snow chain.

In a notification, the DC said use of snowy roads was risk without snow chain on wheels.

The police have been deployed on Swat-Bisham Road in this regard and SHO Alpuri is leading the police teams. Besides, the people of hillyareas were also confined to theirhouses due to heavy snowfall.

The people are facing severe problems due to the closure of link roads and cold weather.

Nizamuddin, a resident of Puran tehsil, told Dawn that the road leading to Puran had been closed for the last two days, while electric supply was also suspended in Yakhtangay due to heavy snowfall.

Intikhab Alam, district councillor of Lelonai area, told Dawn that electricity had shut down since snowfall began.

The road to the area was also blocked due to snowfall.

The rain continued intermittently in various parts of Bisham, Puran, Dandai and other areas.

After Battagram and its adjoining areas received heavy snowfall and rains, the district administration declared emergency in the area calling all relevant officials to remain vigilant and report any untoward incident if any for quicl( response.

The administration established an emergency control room for contact and information sharing.

A notification issued by the deputy commissioner`s office here on Wednesday mentioned that all assistant commissioners and circle Patwari were directed to regularly monitor situation in their circles and immediately inform the control room in case of any incident to rescue the people without delay.

Thandiani, Ayubia, Nathiagali and other hilly areas of Abbottabad also received the first snowfall of the current winter season.

The rain, which began in Abbottabad city on late Tuesday evening, continued on Wednesday bringing down the temperatures.

Upper hills of Thandiani, Nathiagali, Donga Gali, Ayubia, Changla Gali and Koza Gali received heavy snow. Snowfall started in the early hours of Wednesday and with intervals, it fell until Wednesday evening.

DSP Galiyat Jamil Ahmad told Dawn from Nathiagali said tourists were advised not to travel in Galiyat until the clearance of the main road as due to snowfall, the main AbbottabadNathiagali Road was slippery.

Officials of the Galiyat Development Authority and the contractor to whom snow removing contract was awarded were in the process of removing snow and clearing the main road.

Local farmer Saleem Khan Jadoon who was one of the most jubilant people in village Mirpur Area in Abbottabad said his orchards of apples and apricots were dry and dead since there were no rains but he was hopeful of good yields after rainfall.