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January 22, 2019

Heavy rain, snowfall continue in Upper Dir


January 22, 2019

DIR: The routine life was disrupted as heavy rain and snowfall continued to lash areas, including scenic tourist spot Kumrat, Lowari Top, Doog Dara and others for the third consecutive day on Monday.

This is the third spell of rain and snowfall of the winter leading to a further chill in the inclement weather in Lowari Top, Thal, Kumrat, Kalkot, Doog Dara, Ganshal and Gawaldai areas.

According to locals, Kumrat and Lowari Top had received up to 3-4 feet of snow. Similarly, others mountainous areas including Kalkot, Thal, Ganhshal, Hatan Dara, Gawaldai, Doog Dara, also received 1-2 feet snowfall. According to Dir Met office, Dir city had received 43mm rain during the last two days.

The minimum temperature was below 1-degree centigrade in Dir and -4 degree centigrade in upper parts of the district. Qari Muhammad Kohistani, a resident of Kumrat, when reached by phone, said that the road from Kalkot to Thal had been closed for all sorts of traffic due to heavy snowfall.

Sources said that the National Highway Authority (NHA) staff headed by chief operating officer Afzal Hussain had reached Lowari Tunnel and monitoring the rescue and road clearing activities.

They said snow cutter and other heavy machinery was being used to clear the road and keep it open for smooth flow of traffic to Chitral. Meanwhile, Chitral Deputy Commissioner Khursheed Alam Mehsud said that despite heavy snowfall the main roads in the district were open to traffic.

Talking to reporters here, he said the roads in Bamburet, Birir, Golain, Garam Chashma, Mudkalshat and Torkahoor were closed to traffic due to the snowfall. However, he said the snow would be removed from the roads once the weather was clear. He said the Chitral-Peshawar road, Chitral-Booni road and Mastuj Road were open to traffic.

The deputy commissioner said officials of the National Highway Authority (NHA) were using heavy machinery to remove snow from the road to prevent the Lowari Tunnel from being blocked.

Khursheed Alam said Chitral was a vast district in terms of its area and it was very difficult to clear all the roads blocked by snowfall. He said the anti-polio campaign had already been suspended in 10 union councils in the district, adding that it was difficult for the women vaccinators to perform their duty under unfavourable circumstances.

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