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Rains likely to wash smog away in Pakistan next week

LAHORE: Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted rain in the upper and central parts of the country, which is likely to wash away dense smog disrupting all kinds of traffic and causing health issues to people of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“A rain bearing weather system is expected to enter Pakistan from Sunday (night) and is likely to grip upper and central parts of the country on Monday and Tuesday,” the Met department said in a statement.

Rains in the country are expected to provide a relief from the thick smog and haze that have almost paralysed the normal life in various cities of Punjab.

The Met department has also forecasted rain/thunderstorm at scattered places of Balochistan (Quetta, Kalat, Sibbi, Naseerabad, Zhob and Makran divisions), while at isolated places in Sindh on Sunday (night) and Monday.

So far, at least five people have been killed and as many as 40 others injured in smog-related accidents in past one week.

Section 144

The provincial government has imposed ‘Section 144’ in the province till December 16 to bar farmers from burning leftover crops waste, which believed to be one of the prime contributors to the smog problem in Punjab.

Punjab has been badly struck with such weather conditions in recent years in beginning days of winter in the region. The prevalent smog episode is similar to the one that struck the province last year, noted chief meteorologist Mohammad Riaz.

The smog is caused by a lack of rain and immense pollution. Smoke from vehicles, factories and burning of the remains of crops could be one of the major factors behind the dense smog in the province, Riaz said.

Analysts are of the opinion that a spell of heavy rains or strong winds could clear the hazy conditions in the province.



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