RAWALPINDI – Troops of the Pakistan Army on Saturday have participated in relief activities to rescue tourists stranded in calamity hit Murree, Galiyat amid heavy snowfall and storm.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Army personnel are shifting the tourists to safe places and roads are being cleared with the help of heavy machinery.
As per the latest reports, the death count spiked to 21 as stranded tourists in the cars stuck in Murree amid heavy snowfall and subsequent traffic congestion.
Thank You @OfficialDPRPP, @RwpPolice, @ctprwp, Rescue 1122, @DCRawalpindi, Pak Army and Rangers! 🇵🇰
You are all doing your duty as a humanitarian and helping the citizens who trapped in Murree. The Pakistani nation is proud of all of you. LOVE#Murree #MurreeSnowfall pic.twitter.com/vXBOVAkA38— Mian Mujeeb UR Rehman (@Mujeebtalks) January 8, 2022
A list was also shared by Rescue officials which includes the details of the family of a Rawalpindi police officer who along with his wife and six children died amid heavy snowfall.
The Rawalpindi deputy commissioner shared the development saying around 23,000 vehicles have been evacuated safely from Murree and around 1,000 are still stranded. The district administration is working round the clock to evacuate the remaining vehicles safely, he said.
He also requested tourists to avoid traveling to Murree and Galiyat and urged the locals to come forward to help the stranded people.
Earlier today, Interior Minister revealed that around 19 people died in the cars stranded in the snow. At least 1,000 vehicles are still stuck in hill station, adding that authorities have rescued some, and turned back others.
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary urged all citizens to postpone their upland tour plan for a few days. He said thousands of vehicles are heading towards Murree and other high places, adding that it has become impossible for the local administration to provide facilities to such a large number of people.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has declared an emergency in Murree and directed chief secretary, IG Police, Relief Commissioner, DG Rescue and PDMA to conduct self-monitoring of rescue activities.
PML-N leaders, Maryam Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif condoled the deaths in recent tweets.
‘What a massive tragedy Murree is turning out to be! Heartbroken to learn about the loss of so many precious lives. My profound condolences & sympathies are with the bereaved families. May Allah rest the departed souls in peace’, leader of opposition in NA wrote on Twitter.
Earlier, the government blocked all routes leading to Murree and Galiyat to avoid any untoward situation after heavy snowfall triggered massive traffic jam, creating difficulties for tourists stuck on the roads.
Pakistan’s hill station Murree, which is around 70 kilometres (45 miles) northeast of country’s federal capital Islamabad, has long been popular for day trips.