Pakistan’s northern and northwestern parts have witnessed record snowfall last month which would help raise the water table in the country, officials said.
“During the last one month the country’s northern hilly areas received heavy snowfall — up to six to seven feet,” Abdul Wali Yousafzai, a senior officer in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa irrigation department told Anadolu Agency
This is the heaviest snowfall in 48 years, he added.
According to the met department, the country’s northern mountains received heavy snowfall in January and the first week of February.
“Snowfall and rain will not only help to raise our water table but also be beneficial for our forests that had been affected by a drought,” he added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the rain and snow calling it a “blessing from God”.
“[…] the rainfall will raise the water table while the snow will melt into our river,” Khan tweeted.
Pakistan is running out of fresh water at an alarming rate, experts say, which could spell disaster for the agriculture-based economy.
Courtesy of yenisafak.com
The record snowfall in Gilgit-Baltistan that continued on Thursday brought activities of daily life to a standstill in the region.
The region has been cut off from other parts of the country as Karakoram Highway and other roads have been blocked due to snowfall and landslide.
The officials said that upper parts of 10 districts received more than12 inches snowfall while lower areas received four to six inches snowfall during the last three days.
Liaquat Ali, a resident of Skardu, told Dawn that local people faced shortage of dialy use items due to continuous snowfall. The temperature in the areas has already dropped blow minus 12 centigrade.
Shafqat Ali, a resident of Astore, said that the record snowfall paralysed life in the district. He said that people were forced to remain indoors. “All roads have been blocked and traffic between Astore and other parts of the country has been suspended,” he added.
Shafqat said that the system of telephone and electricity was also disrupted. “Rate of firewood has been increased as 40-kilogram firewood is sold at Rs1,200,” he added.
The residents of Hunza, Nagar, Ghizer, Gilgit also face hardships due to heavy snowfall. Traffic between Gilgit and other parts of the country has been suspended for the last one week following blockade of Karakoram Highway. Thousands of passengers have been stranded in various areas.
However, the administration said that Karakoram Highway was reopened to light traffic though travelling on the road was still dangerous.
Courtesy of dawn.com
As the storm system that hit Israel at the beginning of the week enters its final stage, the cold temperatures plummeted Wednesday to this winter’s record low. Nearly a meter of snow has accumulated on Mt. Hermon and the water levels in the Sea of Galilee have risen by at least 19.5 cm over the past 48 hours, according to meteorological services.
The waterline in Sea of Galilee currently stands at -214 below sea level and 1.10 meters (3.6 feet) below the lower red line (the intermediate warning signal indicating a crisis).
The water level keeps rising due to the strong currents of the rivers flowing into the northern freshwater lake. In some areas of the Jordan River, the streams reached the speed of up to 100 cubic meters per second, a five-year high.
Although precipitation over Israel is mostly concentrated over the northern parts of the country, intermittent rainfall is expected in central and southern Israel all throughout Wednesday, raising fears over possible floods in eastern and southern rivers.
The southwest winds in the Mediterranean Sea will reach speeds of up to 50 kph (31 mph), while the height of the waves could reach of up to 5 meters (16 feet).
Meanwhile, management at the Mt. Hermon ski site said it has been years since they recorded uninterrupted snowfall that continued for three days straight, with some 90cm hitting the mountain’s lower parts so far. Although the site is currently closed—due to foggy and misty conditions—its ski trail is expected to open its doors to skiers for the first time this winter over the coming weekend.
The Israel Electric Corporation said the stormy weather caused the electricity consumption to hit 12,592mw, slightly less than an all-time record back in January 2016, when the consumption numbers stood at 12,624mw.
The storm is expected to taper off by by the end of the week with partly cloudy skies and temperatures returning to average by Friday. On Thursday the weather is expected to be dry and mild, with a slight rise in temperatures.
Courtesy of ynetnews.com