LAHORE: Light rain and snowfall over the hills added to the severity of winter on Sunday and a thick blanket of fog, stretching from Gujranwala all the way to Sukkur, disrupted traffic on the National Highway and the motorway, making travel highly risky.
Six members of a family, including four brothers, drowned when their car plunged into a canal near Shujaabad due to poor visibility caused by dense fog. They were travelling from Multan to Shujaabad.
An assistant sub-inspector of police (ASI), two constables and their driver, all posted in Lahore, were injured on Saturday night when their vehicle collided with another vehicle in Farooqabad, Sheikhupura, where they had gone to arrest some outlaws.
According to weather reports, Murree, Swat, Mansehra, Chitral, Kaghan, Naran, Kalam, Malamjabba and Azad Kashmir received the first snowfall of the season on Sunday. Although the snowfall, accompanied by rain, was light, it brought down temperatures in the country’s mountainous regions.
Lowari Top closed after snowfall; icy winds buffet Balochistan after showers
The Lowari Top pass was closed after the snowfall. The pass leads to Chitral and reports indicated that 15 inches of snowfall had fallen there. The Met department said Kalam received 5 inches and Malamjabba 1 inch of snowfall.
Icy winds buffeted Balochistan after rain on Saturday. The minimum temperature in Kalat was -5 degrees Celsius and in Quetta it was four degrees below Celsius.
In the north, Skardu recorded a temperature of -4 degrees Celsius, Hunza and Gupis -3 and Malamjabba -2.
A dense fog developed over the plains of central Punjab and Sindh late on Saturday night, reducing visibility to virtually zero at many places. This made driving on the highways, motorway and link roads risky and difficult.
People had no option but to drive their vehicles slowly. The situation was even worse on the National Highway, which is used by heavy transport vehicles.
Authorities had to close down two stretches of motorway and the highway from Gojra to Faisalabad and from Faisalabad to Pindi Bhattian due to poor visibility.
Motorway spokesman Imran Shah said there was a “crisis-like situation” on the National Highway from Gujranwala to Sukkur because of the fog. “We could not close the highway, but remained on our toes to meet any eventuality,” he told Dawn.
The Meteorological Department said Pattan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) received 19mm of rain on Sunday, Malamjabba 14, Kalam and Drosh 10, Dir and Saidu Sharif 9, Balakot and Kakul 7, Chitral, Mirkhani and Rawalakot 4, Muzaffarabad and Gupis 5, Lower Dir, Garhi Dupatta and Astore 3.
According to the Met Office, the weather will remain mainly cold and dry in most parts of the country on Monday. However, scattered rains and thunderstorms are expected in Malakand, Hazara, Quetta and Zhob divisions, upper Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Dense foggy conditions are likely to prevail over the plains of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and upper Sindh.
courtesy : dawn news