CHITRAL/ DI KHAN/ PESHAWAR:
The first winter rains in different parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), including Peshawar, have heightened the cold element in the atmosphere, heralding the start of autumn in the province on Saturday.
According to initial reports, two people were killed and at least six injured in rain-related incidents.
Peshawar received a heavy downpour which turned the city’s roads into a lagoon for hours and disrupted traffic.
In mountainous districts including Chitral, Khyber, Orakzai and Kurram, snowfall was recorded on the mountains and torrential rains in the valleys.
“Snow is falling on the mountain peaks of Chitral while in the town and villages of Chitral hailstorms and heavy rains have been recorded for the second day,” a resident of Chitral said in an interview. with The Express Tribune adding that this was the official arrival. long winters in both districts.
“There is no snow yet in the whole valley, but all the mountain peaks are covered with a long blanket of snow,” he added.
“Some valleys in Upper Chitral received several feet of snow overnight and the sudden cold weather forced people to go and buy warm clothes, drinks and teahouses,” he said.
In the Tirah Valley of the Khyber Tribal District, snow was seen on mountain peaks and lower valleys were hit by hailstorms which destroyed standing crops.
Local residents complained that in Chitral, the price of firewood reached 700 rupees per 50 kilos, which is an all-time high. LPG cylinder prices have gone even further.
Meanwhile, in Peshawar, rainwater flooded low-lying areas and disrupted power supplies and traffic.
In Shergarh area of Mardan district, a mother and her infant son died in a roof collapse incident. Her husband and three-year-old son were rescued in a seriously injured condition. Police said the four people were present in a room that was in disrepair and whose roof collapsed in the torrential rain, leaving the four people trapped under debris. They were pulled out of the rubble but the mother and son had already died while the two injured were rushed to the nearby hospital where their condition is considered critical.
In Dera Ismail Khan, four children were injured when their bedroom was struck by lightning in the mountainous region of Darazinda.
The roof caught fire after the strike, leaving four children partially burned. They were rushed to hospital where they are in critical condition.
Parts of DI Khan received heavy downpours accompanied by dust storms which damaged standing crops.
Similarly, two women were injured when their roof collapsed during rains in the Landi Arbab area on the outskirts of Peshawar.
Nowshera, Charsadda, Mardan, Kohat, Swabi and other districts also received rainfall.
The farmers said that due to the continued cultivation of wheat in the region, the rainfall will have a pleasant impact despite some crop damage from the hail and dust storms.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6e2022.