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Pakistan: Cold Wave - Jan 2020

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Heavy snow and rain have been reported across Pakistan leading to fatalities and damage. According to media, at least 14 people died as a result of heavy snow in several parts of Balochistan (south-west Pakistan), while five people died due to heavy rain in Rajanpur District (Punjab Province, eastern Pakistan). There are reports that a dam broke in Kech District (Baalochistan), damaging many houses. Several areas remain isolated, rescue and relief operations are hampered by the closure of main roads. A state of emergency has been declared for Mastung, Qila Abdullah, Kech, Ziarat, Harnai, and Pishin districts (Balochistan). (ECHO, 13 Jan 2020)

75 people are dead in Pakistan, 59 after avalanches in AJK and 41 in the Neelam Valley. 53 houses were destroyed across AJK and 64 people injured throughout the country. (ECHO, 15 Jan 2020)

Severe weather, including heavy snow and low temperatures, affected Pakistan (particularly Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan), causing widespread incidents and fatalities. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 100 people died, 76 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), 20 in Balochistan, 2 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 2 in Gilgit-Baltistan. Moreover, 90 people have been injured and 213 houses have been damaged. (ECHO, 16 Jan 2020)

According to [NDMA], as of 17 January, 104 people died, 77 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), 20 in Balochistan, 5 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 2 in Gilgit-Baltistan. At least 96 people have been injured, 236 houses have been damaged and several roads have been blocked by snow avalanches. (ECHO, 17 Jan 2020).

As of 20 January, the number of people who died in the snow spell has increased to 105, with the highest reported in PAK (78) and Balochistan (20). NDMA has reported that the damage to houses has significantly increased from 200 to 1,295 mostly located in Balochistan (1,057). The total number of affected people has not yet been confirmed by the authorities. A state of emergency was declared by Balochistan Government in eleven (11) districts - Quetta, Ziarat, Pishin, Kila Abdullah, Kachhi (Kolpur area), Mastung, Harnai, Kila Saifullah, Loralai, Kalat and Kech after a spell of heavy rain and snowfall across the province. (OCHA, 20 Jan 2020)

Three days onward, and the death toll continues to rise. With almost 110 deaths reported, approximately 70 percent of these occurred in P.A.K., while around 20 percent were reported in Balochistan. [NDMA] has found that 1,300 houses have been damaged in the inclement weather, with more than 80 percent of these houses located in Balochistan. Assessments conducted by Pakistan Red Crescent Society in Neelum district shows almost 6,400 people have been displaced due to avalanches and landslides. The displaced families are living with host families as no communal camps have been established to date. So far, air support has been disrupted due to bad weather. (OCHA, 23 Jan 2020).

There has been no further increase in reported deaths or house damages while a slight increase in injuries due to the recent avalanche and snow/rain spell in four affected provinces of Pakistan. So far, the highest number of deaths were reported in P.A.K. (79) and Balochistan (21), followed by Khyber Pakthunkhwa (5) and Gilgit Baltistan (2). According to data compiled from authorities, around 1 million people have been affected while the total number of people in the affected districts stands at 2.5 million. More than 1,000 houses were damaged in Balochistan, mainly due to land sliding and heavy snow in 11 notified districts of Balochistan. Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has identified four (4) additional districts as affected. The total tehsils affected are 37 in 15 districts. (OCHA, 24 Jan 2020).

Heavy rain, snow and low temperatures have been affecting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (north-western Pakistan) since 4 March. According to national authorities, at least 25 people died and more than 56 were injured following weather-induced incidents. Approximately 180 houses were damaged or destroyed. Many villages remain isolated due to heavy snow and landslides, blocking main road access. An extreme weather emergency is in effect in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa until 14 March. (ECHO, 9 Mar 2020).

On 10 March, an avalanche occurred in Nathia Gali Town (Abbottabad District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) killing at least 4 people and injuring 29 others. Over 20 people are missing, search and rescue operations are ongoing. (ECHO, 11 Mar 2020).

The number of fatalities following persistent heavy rain and snow in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (north-west Pakistan) has risen to 57. More than 100 people have also been injured according to national authorities. 260 houses/public buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Roads in Abbottabad District (north-east Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) remain closed, isolating many villages. (ECHO, 13 Mar 2020)

On 1-15 March, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in north Pakistan was heavily affected by rainfall, which triggered floods, avalanche and several landslides across the north districts. According to national authorities, 60 people died, while 114 were injured. Approximately 139 buildings were destroyed, and 780 others were damaged. Due to landslide and avalanche,damage was reported to main highways, leading to the isolation of several districts. (ECHO, 18 March 2020)