ISLAMABAD: Chairman National Disaster Management Authority has stated rescue operation at Murree is near to completion and all possible resources are being utilised to open closed roads after heavy snowfall.
Speaking to state-owned media, NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz Satti said camps have been established by Pakistan Air Force, where the evacuated persons are being provided shelter, food, medicines, heaters, and beds.
He said electricity in affected areas is being restored in phases. He said a control room, under the supervision of Commissioner Rawalpindi, has also been established at Murree to provide assistance to stranded tourists.
He warned that another spell of rain and snowfall is predicted in different areas of the country. He said that the provision of food, shelter and medicines to the affected people is the key priority.
He said NDMA has established emergency camps in the affected area to provide immediate relief to the rain and snowfall-hit people. He said that emerging situation is very challenging and the NDMA is taking all possible steps to normalize the situation.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said the situation is under control as officials of Pakistan Army, NDMA, Police and civil administration are actively carrying out relief activities.
He said 22 people have died in recent rains and snowfall-related incidents at Murree. The minister said up to 90 percent of roads have been cleared. He advised that integrated planning should be made to avoid such occurrences in future.
Earlier on Saturday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed arrived in Murree to supervise rescue, relief and evacuation activities. In a video message, he also asked the locals to come forward to help the stranded tourists.
Pakistan Army has deployed army engineers, division and Frontier Works Organization to assist people stuck at Murree. According to Inter Services Public Relations, rescue centers have been established at Army Public School and Army School of Logistics Kuldana and all relief camps have been provided with heating arrangements.
All stranded people will be shifted to five army relief camps established at Murree and food, shelter will be provided to people affected by heavy snowfall, said the military’s press wing. Army relief centre has been established at Army School of Technicians Barian, Military college Murre, Jhikagali , APS Kuldana, Station supply Depot Sunny Bank. FWO dozers and army engineers are busy to keep roads open while Murree Express opened and cleared for any fresh snow by NHA, FWO, Army Engineers.
All resources at the disposal of Murree division in terms of engineers and machinery have been mobilised and will remain in the field till all people are evacuated. Special arrangements are made to evacuate people on military transport. Central Control Division has been established at Murree Division, while troops are out in the field clearing traffic and opening roads where machinery cannot reach.