Wednesday, 25 May 2022, 02:55:33 am
Analysts urge people to exercise caution in travelling to hilly areas amidst rains and snowfall
January 08, 2022

Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz (Chairman, NDMA): It is a very challenging situation for us and our topmost priority is to rescue the stranded tourists in Murree. All the available resources have been mobilized in the relief activities. Eight camps have been established by Pakistan Army, civil administration and Pakistan Air Force for providing shelters, food, medicines, heaters, and beds to the evacuated persons. The process of removing the vehicles on the roads is also underway. We have been employing all the resources to open the roads that have been closed due to heavy snowfall. The removal of vehicles from the roads is a challenging task.  

Malik Amin Aslam (Minister for Climate Change): The situation in Murree emerged partly due to unpredictable or unusual weather. Even the National Weather Forecasting Centre had predicted heavy snowfall on hills. Pakistan is among countries that are at the risk of most affected by the climate change. It is unfortunate that we do not take the warning of meteorology department seriously. In the light of weather forecast, the response of the public and the district administration is mandatory. We must learn a lesson from this tragedy that flow of tourists to the resorts beyond their capacity must not be allowed. These areas must be closed after they reach full capacity of tourists. The administration in Northern Areas is also being advised to control the flow of people due to unpredictable weather.

Amir Sohail (Divisional Forest Officer, Murree): The local administration in Murree was already trying to control the situation but due to heavy snow and crowd, the tragedy struck. The tourists must be careful while travelling to the hilly areas as such situations may occur any time. For the last two or three days, people thronged to Gilyat and adjoining areas in large numbers. Suddenly heavy snowfall started and the tourists got panic that resulted in worse traffic jams. The government's initiative of Billion Tree Tsunami is underway in Murree and the authorities concerned are directed to plant as many trees as possible to minimize the impacts of the climate change. 

Muhammad Irfan (Meteorologist): More rains and snowfall over the hills in Kashmir and adjoining areas are expected in Kashmir in next 24 hours. As the weather situation is not good, the tourists are advised to avoid travelling to Northern Areas, Murree, Ayubia and Galyat as these places have already been congested due to heavy traffic jam.