Unexpected Snowfall Claims Lives in Pakistan: 35 Dead and Dozens Injured in Rare Weather Event

March 5, 2024 10:39 am

Unexpected Snowfall Claims Lives in Pakistan: 35 Dead and Dozens Injured in Rare Weather Event

In an unusual turn of events, at least 35 people lost their lives and dozens more were injured as freezing rain and unexpected snowfall struck remote areas of Pakistan over the weekend. Among the casualties, 22 were children who tragically perished in landslides that buried their homes, as reported by disaster management authorities.

The extreme weather conditions impacted Pakistan’s northern and western regions, causing road closures and significant damage to hundreds of houses. The surprise snowfall in March, typically a humid month in Pakistan, has left experts and residents alike bewildered.

Mushtaq Ali Shah, a former director of Pakistan’s meteorological department, attributed this unusual phenomenon to climate change. He highlighted the unprecedented nature of prolonged snowfall, emphasizing that while a brief hailstorm might be expected, it is unusual for such conditions to persist for over 30 minutes.

Residents, recalling the rarity of snowfall in March, expressed their surprise. Hajit Shah, a resident of Kirk district in the north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, mentioned experiencing snow in his neighborhood only once before, around 25 or 30 years ago.

The heavy rains accompanying the unexpected snowfall wreaked havoc, destroying at least 150 houses and partially damaging 500 others, primarily in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the south-western Balochistan province. The severe weather conditions have led to prolonged power outages in some districts.

In response to the crisis, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial government has initiated relief efforts, providing supplies to the affected areas and announcing financial assistance for the injured and the families of those who lost their lives.

Looking ahead, Pakistan’s meteorological department has forecasted “mainly cold and dry weather” for most parts of the country for the remainder of the week. However, some areas in Balochistan and Kashmir are expected to witness “snowfall over hills,” underscoring the unpredictability of weather patterns in the region.

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