Pakistan is in the grip of a severe cold wave as foggy conditions have intensified in many parts of the country. The dense fog engulfing several areas of the country has brought regular activities of life to a halt.
According to the Met Office, the weather will remain dry and cold in most parts of the country. It added that the country’s northern areas as well as the upper half of Balochistan would remain affected by severe cold.
Dense fog was witnessed in the plains of Punjab. Similar weather conditions are expected in the plains of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and upper parts of Sindh. The temperature was recorded at -14C in Skardu, -10C in Ziarat, -9C in Kalat, -8C in Kalam, -7C in Astore and Gupis, -6C in Quetta and Gilgit, -5C in Hunza, and -4C in Chitral and Dir.
The mercury fell to 1C in the federal capital, 6C in Lahore, and 0C in Peshawar. The Met Office has predicted that the weather would remain partially cloudy in Islamabad and there were chances of dense fog in the morning.
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It added that it would remain cold on several districts of K-P, with chances of fog engulfing Peshawar, Rashakai, Mardan, Charsadda, Swabi, Nowshehra and Dera Ismail Khan.
In Punjab, fog is expected in Jhelum, Lahore, Gujranwala, Narowal, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Jhang, Sargodha, Toba Tek Singh, Okara, Sahiwal, Bhakkar, Layyah, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, and Dera Ghazi Khan.
Light rainfall or snowfall is expected in Quetta, Ziarat, Zhob, Chaman, and their surrounding areas in Balochistan.
Flight operations continued to remain disrupted as various international airports in the country were engulfed by heavy fog. The administration of the Islamabad International Airport administration has issued a plan for diverted flights.
According to airport officials, a total of 33 flights will be operated from Islamabad airport at present. The diverted flights include 16 departure and 17 arrival flights, and these are apart from the scheduled flights.
Four departure flights have been operated so far, with 607 passengers and 29 crewmembers on board. Three diverted flights also arrived in the country as 650 passengers and 29 crewmembers reached Islamabad through them.
Moreover, 650 passengers coming to Islamabad have left for Lahore by bus. At Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, flights from Baku, Dammam, Abu Dhabi and Istanbul were not allowed to land and diverted to Islamabad.
PIA flights departing from Lahore before 12 noon will now depart from Islamabad. Flights to Muscat, Jeddah, Dubai and Riyadh have been shifted to Islamabad as well. Flight PK-759 to Jeddah, PK-203 to Dubai, PK-725 to Riyadh and PK-229 to Muscat will now depart from the federal capital.
The visibility at Islamabad airport is 3,200 metres. However, it stands at 800m, 1,000m, and 1,200m at Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad airports, respectively.