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Landslides Disrupt Karakoram Highway and Baltistan Road, Stranding Passengers in Gilgit Region

In Gilgit, the Karakoram Highway (KKH) and Baltistan Road have been closed once again due to landslides caused by heavy snowfall and rain, leading to significant disruptions for residents and tourists alike. The closures, announced on Wednesday, come after brief periods of restoration earlier in the week, exacerbating the challenges posed by adverse weather conditions.

According to an official from the Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority, although the region’s weather is improving, the severe weather events on Monday and Tuesday have caused substantial damage, resulting in extensive disruptions to transportation.

Gilgit

The KKH has been blocked at multiple points near the Thore area of Chilas and the Diamer Basha Dam construction site, leaving thousands of passengers stranded on both sides of the highway. Efforts to address the situation include diverting light traffic through the old KKH route and conducting clearance operations using heavy machinery.

Similarly, the Baltistan Road has remained closed for the fourth consecutive day, with partial openings being short-lived due to new landslides near the Roundu area of Skardu. This has once again severed land communication for residents.

Despite the challenges, GBDMA Director General Safdar Khan has assured that restoration efforts are underway across the affected areas, with no significant casualties or damage reported thus far.

The Gilgit-Baltistan government has issued a weather alert effective until February 27, advising people to avoid non-essential travel. Additionally, aerial connections between Islamabad, Skardu, and Gilgit are facing disruptions for the third consecutive day.

Residents in the region’s upper areas are grappling with cold waves, power outages, and communication disruptions amidst the challenging weather conditions.

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