After a long and dry spell, the country received rain and snowfall in various cities causing irregularities in traffic and daily routines. Hundreds of citizens are reportedly stuck in northern parts of the country after heavy rain and snowfall hindered movement in the affected areas.

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif on Monday night issued orders to rescue all the stranded citizens who are stuck in the areas affected by the weather. According to reports, various parts of Azad Kashmir, Nathia Gali, Chitral, and Galyat received heavy spell of rainfall and snow, stranding more than 800 vehicles and hundreds of citizens.

The tourists who are stuck, including women and children, had earlier appealed to the authorities to provide urgent rescue services to which Shehbaz Sharif had promptly responded by ordering the Commissioner, Regional Police Officer (RPO), Chief Traffic Police Officer (CTO) to reach the affected areas and commencing rescue operations.

The snowfall caused at least 800 stranded vehicles to form long lines on roads after the snow blocked the roads and all the land routes to Islamabad from four districts of Azad Kashmir. The traffic disruption caused major distress to the citizens who soon ran out of fuel and eatables.

Shehbaz directed the authorities to obtain all the required equipment to rescue the stranded citizens. He also instructed officials to request for the army’s assistance if required.

The Punjab CM has stated that he will personally monitor the rescue process over the course of the night.

In the last twenty-four hours, snowfall recorded in three inches in Malamjabba, one inch in Murree and Rawalakot, half-foot in Kalam and Parachinar, while three inches of snowfall was recorded in Ziarat.

On Sunday, rainfall in Chirat was recorded at 56 millimetres, while 46 millimetres and 39 millimetres of rain was recorded in Malam Jabba and Dir.