QUETTA - Quetta and other parts of Balochistan are in the grip of severe cold as the temperature dropped to record minus 13 degree centigrade here on Monday.

According to metrological department officials, Har Bohi area of Kalat district, some 160 kilometres southeast of Quetta was the coldest place in the country with a minimum temperature of minus 15 degrees. In Quetta, temperature was recorded minus 13 and the people experienced the coldest night of the ongoing winter season.

The chilly Siberian breeze, which started blowing on Saturday, severely hit Quetta, Mastung, Nushki, Kalat and northern and southern parts of Balochistan. “This cold wave will continue for next two or three more days,” MD sources said.

The breeze forced the people to remain inside homes as most of the markets and roads of the city presented a deserted look and attendance in offices also remained thin. The freezing temperature and braving cold waves not only paralysed life but also busted water pipelines suspending water supply and froze vehicles’ radiators.

Talking to TheNation, environmental expert Dr Irfan Baig said that owing to the climatic change in the region, a drastic change has been noticed in weather patterns. “Few decades back, rain and snowfall used to begin in the month of November but now the spells are delayed as still no significant rain and snowfall has been recorded that indicates towards is a variation in weather conditions,” he added.

He said that the cycle of rain and snowfall had changed as Quetta and other parts of Balochistan used to witness much cold, rain and snowfall in the month of November. “We are used to experience such chilly weather in almost all winter seasons particularly from November and till end of March but now the weather is quite warmer even in December,” says Bahot Khan, 65 year old, resident of Quetta adding that the city was recognised with its freezing temperature in winters and chilly climate in summer.

It is not easy to compete with severe cold and freezing Siberian winds when there is low gas pressure and long-hour of loadshedding but the people of Quetta and other parts of Balochistan are accustomed to face such situation. Protest demonstrations and road blockages by the residents of different parts of Quetta city are being observed for the last couple of day. The protesters are demanding for an end to the ongoing gas loadshedding.

However, Chief Minister Dr Abdul Maalik Baloch took notice of the low gas pressure and loadshedding, and summoned the Qesco and SSGC authorities in this connection.

Expressing regret over the loadshedding and low pressure of gas in Quetta and other parts of the province in sub-zero temperature, he directed the Qesco and gas authorities for taking result-oriented measures to end loadshedding and low gas pressure. “The Qesco and SSGC authorities should pay heed towards the public issue,” he said adding that the officials should have known that with falling temperature the demand of gas would also increase and steps should have been taken in this regard.