Murree was declared calamity hit on Saturday after at least 21 people froze to death in cars stranded in snow amid a massive tourist influx. Around 1,000 cars were snowed in and people stuck inside. Many Pakistani celebrities shared the news on social media and expressed their shock and horror.
The victims included nine children.
Actor Saba Qamar took the news to Twitter and said "I am heartbroken to see images from Murree. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost their loved ones." She also advised her followers to check weather forecasts prior to any travel.
Faysal Quraishi also penned a few words for the people who lost their lives and asked his followers to pray for the departed souls. "Receiving sad and disturbing videos of Muree and Galyat. Around 20 people (local tourists) including women and children have died due to extreme weather conditions. Aur jo wahan hain ALLAH pak madad farmaye aur apni amaan mey rakhay ameen [May Allah keep the people who are still there safe and help them]."
Model Nadia Hussain and singer Meesha Shafi also shared the devastating news on Twitter.
Cricketer Shoaib Malik shared the news on Twitter and also prayed for the deceased.
Actor Armeena Khan, however, drew attention towards mandatory travel restrictions and plans in place for such calamities.
"Where is the cold weather risk plan to mitigate such risk? This includes regulating traffic and “prepping” infrastructure to receive snowfall with adequate weather warning systems in place. My heart breaks for the families who have lost their loved ones needlessly."
Actor Osman Khalid Butt shared some important information for anyone who is stuck in their car in the snow — never use your heater because it will reduce the oxygen levels in the vehicle!
Actor Usman Mukhtar had a very important request for people — stop sharing videos of the incident!
Prime Minister Imran Khan had also tweeted about how "shocked and upset" he was to hear of the tragic deaths.
He said that an inquiry has been initiated and regulations will be put in place to prevent such a thing from happening again.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department had predicted heavy snowfall in Murree and Galiyat from January 6 to 9. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has declared Murree calamity-hit and imposed a state of emergency at hospitals, police stations, administration offices and Rescue 1122 services in the area.
More than 23,000 cars were evacuated from the area the night before and the rescue operation was going on, he shared. Buzdar appealed to people to strictly follow instructions given by the police and district administration and cooperate with them.