Tourists question blizzard tragedy in scenic Pakistan town

Many Pakistanis have complained on social media that hoteliers have raised prices to take advantage of stranded customers, forcing them to sleep in cars.

As the snow melted in an unprecedented way in a popular mountain resort in Pakistan on Sunday, rescued tourists were found counting the deaths of 22 travelers in a freezing traffic jam.

“We have not received any kind of alert from society, government and Google from news and weather,” said Dua Kashif Ali, 18, a tourist from Islamabad.

The mountain town of Farkh – 70 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Islamabad – has long been a favorite of tourists, who flocked to see the dusty views of fresh snow this week.

Twenty-two people died stuck in their cars overnight from cold or carbon monoxide poisoning from exhaust fumes. Among them were 10 children.

As he spoke, a convoy of heavy machinery cleared the icy roads behind him, ending two days of snowy isolation for the affiliated village of Rati Ghali.

Together with 13 family members and friends, they got rid of three stuck cars and climbed 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) to where the guesthouse owner took them.

“They offered their services, they gave their homes, they gave their restaurants and hotels for free.”

In neighboring Koldana, about 5,000 people were greeted at the Army School of Logistics on Friday night.

11-year-old Arush Yasir, who benefited from a gas fire with her family, said they spent the night in their car on Friday before being rescued the next morning.

“I started crying and praying.”

On Saturday, Arouch said the hotels were “either too expensive or out of place”, forcing her into the army camp.

Workers scaled mountain pylons to knock snowy power wires, while others crowded around open car hoods in an effort to coax engines back to life.

Empty water bottles and packaging for snacks littered the ice, indicating where many tourists spend Friday night in their cars.

Several Pakistani newspapers published scathing articles on Sunday, attacking the authorities for their failure to seal off the area despite warnings of heavy snowfall.

“The administration of this area is responsible for this,” Afia Ali said.

Originally Posted As Tourists Wonder About Blizzard Tragedy In A Scenic Pakistani Town


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