ABBOTABAD: Famous for its lush green mountains, Ayubia received mild snowfall in the month of May, which has happened after a 100-year hiatus in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Abbottabad district.
Nearby areas including the Galiyat region also received light snowfall on Tuesday which was very unusual even for the local population.
Haji Muhammad Aniyat Abbasi, a 90-year-old resident of Ayubia, told The Express Tribune that he hasn’t seen such weather since the British colonial rule before the partition.
Abbasi said his elder brother told him that in 1920s the beautiful hilly region had received snowfall last time in the month of May.
He said when his forefathers resided in the region, the cold weather used to be very harsh even in June and they used to face many hardships.
— The Express Tribune (@etribune) May 19, 2020
16-year-old high school student Yasir Abbasi said that it was very bizarre for him as well but he was enjoying the snowfall. He said they were now preparing their Iftar with traditional items such as fish instead of fruits and fresh juices which were hard to get in the chilly weather.
Samina bibi, 65, said that she was buying groceries from a shop when the snowfall begun, adding that she had never seen such weather in her life during May.
She said they were forced to wear sweaters and coats to protect themselves from the chilly weather.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, Galliyat Development Authority (GDA) Director General Muhammad Raza Habib said he has received reports from his team in Ayubia about the weather, adding that there was no causality or disturbance for civilian life in the region due to the unexpected snowfall.
He further said that he has given strict directions to his team to work actively to eliminate the problems faced by the citizens and tourists due to the current weather.
Rina Saeed, an Islamabad-based writer and author, said the changes in weather were due to coronavirus pandemic as most of the world was under lockdown.
She said the environment was much cleaner now as compared to pre-coronavirus period. “Since there is no pollution in the atmosphere, the flora and fauna of this region would benefit from it,” Saeed added.
Saeed further said that she had years of observation and research in Ayubia National Park but even for her the weather was unusual which was due to the new positive changes in the environment.