A large number of tourists are heading to the famous tourist spots of Pakistan, especially Murree and Galiat, after the forecast of snowfall from Saturday (today). The Meteorological Department says that although the intensity of this snowfall will be less, tourists heading to Murree, Galiat and other upper regions of the country should take necessary precautions in their journey.
It should be remembered that last year on the same day i.e. January 7, more than 20 tourists including women and children were killed in Murree due to heavy snowfall. After the accident last year, the entry of non-residents into Murree was banned for some time.
Whatever the reasons for the death of tourists last year, officials say that in a hilly area like Murree, where there is a capacity of only 3,000 vehicles, the rush of more than necessary tourists can cause any serious situation, especially In the snow. Last year too, after receiving information about snowfall, several thousand more vehicles entered Murree than the capacity.
Here are some things that tourists can take care of for safe tourism in these areas.
Last year, more than 20 tourists, including women and children, died in Murree due to being stuck in traffic during heavy snowfall.
Rain, snow and fog
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, western winds have entered the northern Balochistan areas since January 6, which will affect the upper regions of the country on Saturday and Sunday.
Due to these cold westerly winds, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain in Quetta, Zhob, Barkhan, Ziarat, Nokundi, Dalbandin, Harnai, Qila Saifullah, Qila Abdullah, Chaman and Pishin and snowfall on mountains on Saturday and Sunday. Similarly, from Saturday (January 7) to January 9, Murree, Guliyat, Pakistan-administered Kashmir (Wadi Neelam, Muzaffarabad, Poonch, Hattian, Bagh, Haveli, Sidhnuti, Kotli, Bhimbar, Mirpur), Gilgit-Baltistan (Diamir, Moderate rain and snowfall over mountains is likely over Astur, Ghazhar, Skardu, Hunza, Gilgit, Ganche, Shigar) and Chitral, Dir, Swat, Malakand, Kohistan, Mansehra and Abbottabad.
Apart from this, light rain is expected in Islamabad, Potohar region, Charsadda, Bajaur, Kurram, Waziristan and Kohat during the weekend.
According to the Meteorological Department, the rain will be beneficial for the standing crops in rainfed areas and there is a possibility of reducing the intensity of fog. Due to rain, the day temperature is also likely to decrease by five to seven degrees Celsius.
The Meteorological Department has warned that snowfall may lead to disruption of vehicular traffic in the hilly areas. In the meantime, there is also fear of disruption in traffic due to landslides in Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.
According to the Meteorological Department, instructions have been issued to all the concerned institutions to be careful during this time.
Zaheer Ahmed Babar, Director of Meteorological Department, while talking to BBC, said that last year too, a snowstorm was predicted, but due to the fact that tourists did not take it seriously, the incident of death of tourists took place.
He said that tourists should be aware of any emergency situation. Especially for going to hills and gullies, one should get information about local administration and rescue agencies to get help in any situation.
He said that ‘severe weather conditions cannot be ruled out but we must inform ourselves and the people with precautionary measures.’
He further said that ‘January and February are the months of winter and in this regard, the Meteorological Department keeps issuing precautionary measures and warning messages from time to time, tourists should check their weather forecasts and travel instructions only. Begin the journey.’
According to the Director of Meteorological Department, severe weather conditions cannot be ruled out, so it is important to be aware of precautionary measures.
What precautions should be taken while visiting snowy areas?
Before going to any tourist destination or immediately after arriving there, carefully obtain the contact numbers of the rescue authorities and emergency aid agencies there. So that help can be sought in time.
Avoid traveling to the streets during snowfall, but if one encounters snowfall during the journey, one must take precautionary measures.
Tourists should travel by tying chain (chain) on the wheels of their vehicle so that the vehicle does not slip on snow. If your vehicle is front-wheel drive, this chain should be installed on the front wheels, and if it is rear-wheel drive, on the rear wheels.
Bring a chain with you, it is commonly available and costs anywhere from one thousand to fifteen hundred. If they don’t bring it with them, these chains are also available for rent at various places in the streets.
After snowfall, even if the snow is removed from the road, the slippage does not end, so any tourist should keep his vehicle in first gear when visiting such areas on his vehicle.
Avoid using the brakes frequently, let the tires spin at low speeds as this reduces the risk of skidding. Use engine and gear power on slopes and moderate vehicle speed with accelerator.
Keep vehicle tires under-inflated, weak tires and vehicle should not be used while vehicle must be full of fuel.
There is a risk of landslides due to snowfall at any point along the way, so keep warm clothes, dry food etc.
If you are traveling with children and family, all the things they need should be present in the car at all times.
And finally, avoid unnecessary travel as much as possible in such weather conditions