Himachal Snowfall: Over 1500 people rescued, relief operations underway

Shimla, Sep 27: As the weather is clearing up on Thursday search and rescue operations entered to day three in Himachal Pradesh hills. 

“Till yesterday, 1547 people were rescued and today 71 were rescued from different locations. Operations will be launched in two areas — Lahaul-Spiti valley’s Baralacha and Kunzum”, Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue and Disaster Management) Manisha Nanda told media.

A total of 24 tourists who were stranded at Chhota Dara (between Rohtang pass and Chandratal lake) have been rescued and brought to Kullu.

Earlier in a day, nine persons including three German nationals were airlifted from a camp in Sarchu and dropped in Kullu and admitted to hospital.  They were rescued from several places in the hilly sand kept at a camp in Sarchu.

Indian Air Force is inducting two more Cheetah helicopters to assist in rescue and relief operations underway in Himachal Pradesh. Two Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and one Medium Lift Helicopters (MLH) were deployed on Wednesday.

Around 500 people were still reported to be stranded in Suraj Tal lake and Zingzing Bar areas along Keylong-Leh road.

More than 300 labourers of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), a wing of the Ministry of Defence, involved in the construction of roads in forward areas have also been struck since September 22 following incessant rains that lead to a number of landslides severing road links.

Over 700 people, including five foreigners and IIT Roorkee students, have been evacuated in the past two days and over 1,000 are still stranded in snow-hit Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.

Most people who got stuck at the Baralacha Pass were reportedly travelling to Manali from Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

Early snowfall in the higher reaches, cloudburst and heavy rains devastated large parts of the state from September 22 to 24. Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti were the worst affected.

According to the BRO, the heavy snowfall on the Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft) has cut off the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys affecting a large number of tourists.


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