Winter has arrived early in the Babusar Top region, marked by heavy snowfall that led to the closure of Babusar Top road. The closure was earlier than expected, and may be temporary depending on weather conditions. Babusar Pass is usually closed for about eight months from November to June.
Recent heavy snowfall forced local authorities to limit road access ahead of schedule, with the Karakoram Highway serving as an alternate route. The journey from Diamar to Mansehra takes 14 hours via the Karakoram Highway, compared to the usual 7 hours via the Babusar Pass.
The closure of Babusar Top poses various challenges, including lack of security due to difficult terrain and slippery roads. A tragic incident took place recently when a tourist from Punjab lost his life during a robbery attempt at Babusar Top. The robbers had blocked the road with heavy stones to stop the vehicles, as a result of which one person was killed in firing.
In another update, the temperature at Babusar Top dropped below freezing, officially marking the onset of winter. Snow covered the mountains making the weather even colder but adding to the beauty of the area. Various tourist spots of Mansehra district including Naran, Saiful Muluk Lake, Babusar Top, Upper Kaghan Valley, Jalkhad, Llosar Lake and Sri Pai received heavy snowfall. Up to a foot of snow accumulated on Babusar Top, blocking the road beyond Batakandi.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted that rain and snow will continue for the next two days, which will attract tourists to the Kaghan Valley. However, local authorities advise people to be cautious when traveling to snowy areas.
Additionally, heavy rains and snowfalls have caused significant changes in the climate in different parts of Pakistan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including North Waziristan and Bannu, experienced pleasant weather due to heavy rain and strong winds. Hail and snowfall occurred in different areas like Dir and Gabon. This series of rains is likely to continue till October 17.
Punjab received varying degrees of rain, Multan received the first rain of winter. Some parts of Lahore including Gulbarg, Jail Road and Lawrence Road received light and heavy rains, which relieved the heat but also caused power outages.
After the dust and pollution in Karachi, the weather changed, there was light drizzle in the city. In Balochistan’s Lasbela district, near Uthal, due to heavy rain, a flood occurred and the Quetta-Karachi national highway was blocked. There was light rain in Jacobabad and Gwadar.
The change in weather patterns will help Punjab deal with the ongoing smog problem and provide temporary relief from air quality problems.