Murree fiasco: Innocent lives lost to unimaginable snowstorm

"Don't come to Murree," said a tourist who passed away

The Murree fiasco, the champion of tourism, braces yet another challenge of fury over the loss of innocent lives in the brutal cold with no life support to save them from the bone-chilling killing cold wave in the dead of the night. The incessant snow spell in Galiyat yesterday took its toll leaving many stranded, some marooned, and a couple dead.

The fateful victims had no means to rescue themselves who rather got locked up in their cars with no warming facility as a result about sixteen to nineteen of them could never rise to see the rising sun again. All perished. They were either suffocated because of the air-tight windows or died from the failing heating system of their cars. The authorities claim that never before they were struck with a snowfall of this scale. It is a crazy happening leaving all in bewilderment. Having said that, we can’t bring back the people who became victims of this unwarranted bolt from the blue.

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Snowstorm in the west is a regular happening. They are pretty much in control of the situations that are likely to arise but they have strong systems to warrant any happening of this scale or magnitude. People may be asked to evacuate. But despite all care, things do get out of control. They have floods, tornados, wildfires sweeping through the towns and cities. They have better and flawless systems. BUT the severity of those calamities is far more greater than what we witness here in our part of the country. We could have averted this uncalled for no. of deaths had we been just a little more careful.

Army evacuating stranded Murree tourists, providing food and shelter: ISPR

Murre can hardly take a certain mo of tourists. Beyond that, it may be overwhelmed leaving all at the mercy of humble circumstances. That is exactly how things turned horrific. Firstly, the forecast people must be actively involved with all such touristic sites. They must warn clearly on TV and radio time and again about the severity of the weather and climatic conditions. Secondly, the men at the toll much before the vehicular traffic head up for Murree either through the regular road or the expressway. They must report to the authorities about the exact no of vehicles that pass through that toll plaza. Say when the vehicular traffic exceeds a certain no which they know best, and how efficiently can they take a certain no. No car or bus should then be allowed.

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During extreme weather situations, the cars should be returned knowing well that any no. of vehicles beyond a certain figure would choke and overwhelm the handling capacity of Murree municipal administration. I think by this approach we could avert any of such cataclysmic happenings. Lucky we don’t have such inclement weather destructions that cause devastation of an epic scale, what we see in order countries. Lately, the case in Missouri is a case in point. The tornado swept through the city of Mayfield leaving 330 dead. Almost the entire city was decimated. We have to be a bit more careful. That’s another thing that technology or technique has no control over God’s wrath.

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We need to improve upon the basic facilities that we envisage to provide our recipients who make it to such resorts unplanned in so many ways. Firstly, people are not prepared to tackle any such eventuality. I mean people are just not used to wearing proper gear. Instructions must be broadcast on TV or radio. The dress code is probably the primary thing to start with. A convenient and smart vehicle with robust heating systems. Thirdly, the accommodation that the tourist is likely to avail one’s self off. He or she must bear in mind these few factors before embarking upon an arduous journey such as this one.

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