Rains and Landslides Create Chaos in GB, KP, and Balochistan

Heavy snowfall, rains and landslides have brought life to a standstill in Gilgit-Baltistan, many parts of Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with the Karakoram Highway and other thoroughfares rendered impassable due to landslides and flash floods.

Adverse weather has led to the cancellation of PIA flights between Islamabad and the cities of Gilgit and Skardu.

Heavy rains and snowfall continued to affect large areas of KP for a second day on Saturday. At least 22 people died, and 25 others injured. Similarly, rains have caused significant damage in the Gwadar and Kech districts of Makran. Many houses have collapsed, leaving numerous families homeless. Noshki and Chagai districts also experienced heavy rains, and several districts in Balochistan have been cut off due to damaged or flooded roads.

In addition, thousands of stranded travelers, including families, patients, and children, are in various areas heading to or from Gilgit-Baltistan. Landslides have made Baltistan Road and Ghizer-Shandur Road impassable at certain points.

According to the GB Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA), heavy rain and snowfall started in the upper areas of the region on Friday evening. Landslides have blocked the Karakoram Highway, including the Kohistan, Gilgit-Diamer, Gilgit-Hunza, and Nagar sections. Rockfalls, heavy snowfall, and rain have also disrupted Baltistan Road and Astore Valley Road.

Districts such as Skardu, Ghizer, Astore, Ghanche, Shigar, Nagar, Kharmang, Hunza, and Gilgit are now cut off. This led to isolation residents and causing a halt in daily activities. Fortunately, there have been no reported casualties or significant damages thus far.

Officials have stated that the ongoing inclement weather is hindering road restoration efforts. The Gilgit-Baltistan government has issued a weather alert, advising against travel until conditions improve. The Pakistan Meteorological Department predicts further rainfall and snowfall in the region until Sunday.

GB Chief Minister Haji Gulbar Khan has instructed district administrations to expedite road restoration efforts and ensure the welfare of stranded travelers. Additionally, winter vacation for schools in Skardu, Shigar, Kharmang, and Ghanche districts has extended to March 10 due to heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures. These areas have received up to six inches of snow.