Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s (AJK) Neelum Valley on Wednesday, a day after the region witnessed extreme weather conditions resulting in the deaths of over 60 people in the valley alone.
The premier is currently visiting the injured at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Neelum Valley. The hospital has been cordoned off and media personnel have not been allowed entry while the prime minister conducts his tour.
The death toll in avalanches, landslides and other rain-related incidents during the current spell of a westerly wave weather system across the country has surged to 93, with most of the cases being reported from AJK.
Officials said the figure could further go up as some areas in the valley were still inaccessible due to heavy snowfall, while weather pundits forecast another spell of snowfall beginning on Friday.
Earlier today, AJK Chief Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana had confirmed the prime minister will visit the area and will receive a briefing on the situation in the valley in the aftermath of the weather disasters.
Taking notice of the deteriorating situation in Neelum Valley on Tuesday, the prime minister had taken to Twitter to assure citizens that the government had taken notice of the situation and was working on an “emergency footing” to provide relief and assistance.
The severe snowfalls and landslides in AJK have caused misery & deaths. I have asked the NDMA, the military & all our federal ministers to immediately provide all humanitarian assistance on an emergency footing to the affected people in AJK.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 14, 2020
He said: “The severe snowfalls and landslides in AJK have caused misery and deaths. I have asked the NDMA [National Disaster Management Authority], the military and all our federal ministers to immediately provide all humanitarian assistance on an emergency footing to the affected people in AJK.”
In total, 66 people were killed in the AJK, 20 in Balochistan and at least seven in Sialkot and other districts of Punjab over the past few days. Rain-related incidents also led to the closure of major roads and highways in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, AJK and Balochistan.