Sat, 07 Jan 2012 12:12:08 GMT

Many parts of Pak in grip of cold wave as temperature plunges

From Rezaul H Laskar
Islamabad, Jan 6 (PTI) Many parts of Pakistan shivered in the grip of a cold wave today, with the temperature plunging as low as minus 11 degrees Centigrade as several regions experienced rains and snowfall.

The cold wave intensified in the plains of the Mohmand tribal region after the area received its first snowfall in eight years.

People were forced to remain indoors after heavy snowfall in Safi, Khowzai and Baizai.

The rapid fall in temperatures resulted in an increase in the prices of liquefied petroleum gas and fuel in the semi-autonomous region.

Heavy snowfall over the past three days affected life in Malakand division and Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region.

Several key roads were blocked after they were covered with two feet of snow and life came to a standstill in Chitral city.

Snowfall and intermittent rain paralyzed life in mountainous regions of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, including Dir, Nowshera, Mardan and Swabi.

The cold wave also affected Quetta in the country''s southwest, and the meteorological office forecast frosty weather in northern Balochistan and extremely cold sub-zero winds in the provincial capital and surrounding areas.

The meteorological office said scattered rains and snowfall were expected over hills in the upper parts Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, including Peshawar, Hazara, Malakand and Kohat.

The lowest temperature of minus 11 degrees Centigrade was recorded at Parachinar in the Kurram tribal region.

Dense fog covered the plains of Swabi, Peshawar, Mardan and Nowshera this morning, slowing traffic to a crawl.

Officials said the westerly wave affecting northern parts of Pakistan was expected to cause scattered rain and snowfall over the hills in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan tomorrow.

Chief Meteorologist Ghulam Rasul said the weather system would persist for another 24 hours and start subsiding by tomorrow evening.

He said mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of Sindh while the weather would remain very cold in most parts of Balochistan.

Kalam in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province received 10 inches snowfall today while 26 mm of rainfall was recorded at Malamjabba.

The minimum temperatures in Islamabad was two degrees Centigrade.

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