One dead, 18 hurt as rain lashes KP, Fata

PESHAWAR: One person was killed and 18 others were injured when the rain-soaked roof of a mosque collapsed on people offering funeral in a village in North Waziristan Agency, as many parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas received sporadic light rain and snowfall on Saturday.According to reports, persistent rains and heavy snowfall in Abbottabad have damaged five houses, three schools and a mosque. The resulting cold wave has brought life to a standstill in several valleys of Hazara division.Officials in Miramshah said that the incident of mosque roof collapse during a funeral had occurred in Norang village of Miramshah tehsil. They confirmed that one person was killed and 18 others were injured, five of them critically, who had been taken to a hospital.Temperature in upper parts of the province, including Malakand, Kurram, Khyber and Waziristan tribal agencies, Hazara and some other areas dropped to a freezing point. Correspondents said that hilly areas of the province and tribal belt received a heavy snowfall.At least 5mm rain was recorded in Peshawar on Saturday with more rain forecast during the next 24 hours. Bazaars and markets in Peshawar city were bustling with shoppers despite the wet conditions. A great rush of people was seen at Chapli Kabab shops and Qehwakhanas (green tea stalls) of the old city.The upper parts of Hazara division received heavy showers and snowfall on Saturday and officials said that five houses, three schools and one mosque had been damaged in Abbottabad due to rains. The downpour, which started early in the morning in Mansehra, Battagram, Kohistan and Torgar, continued intermittently all the day.

Snowfall was also recorded in Kaghan, Allai and Kandia valleys in the region and people in Mansehra suffered due to low gas pressure in their houses in the wake of chilly weather.The southern districts, including Karak and Bannu, also received heavy downpour.griculture experts and growers there said that rains would have positive impact on wheat and gram crops in sandy and arid areas of Karak, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan.They said that wheat crop in all these district, especially in barani areas mostly dependent on rains, would get a boost and a good harvest could be expected. They said that rains were also helpful in wiping out some crop diseases.A farmers` leader in Karak, Hafiz Minhajuddin, said that rain had brought happiness on the faces of growers, who had been praying for it. He hoped that the following recent rain the farming community of the district would get increased producen – Dawn