IAF rescues 234 people from HP

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Sep 2018 09:31:38




THE Indian Air Force (IAF) have rescued 234 people, including 58 children, from high altitude areas of Himachal Pradesh after recent flash floods made parts of the State inaccessible, a defence spokesman said on Friday. Apart from the IAF operations, 96 people have been rescued on foot by the Army. The Army detachments are also clearing the roads from debris to enable vehicular movement. “Landslides and snowslides in the past one week have trapped vehicles along the strategic Leh-Manali axis in Himachal Pradesh. The effect has been more pronounced near Baralacha La and along the road from Killingsarai to Bharatpur”, a defence spokesman said.

The Army detachments operating from Rumtse, Pang, Sarchu, Patsio and Tandi have carried out physical rescue missions at various high altitude places. Further, the detachments offered help to the stranded people with warm clothes, shelter, hot meals, medical aid and satellite communication. A highly specialised Avalanche Panther Rescue Team of Ladakh Scouts was deployed into the affected areas for rescue and relief operations, he said, adding that the second Avalanche Rescue Team was going to be deployed soon. 

A medical officer and a signals officer have been sent to Patsio for medical assistance to stranded civilians and provision of communication facility, he said, adding that in addition medical stores, oxygen cylinders, supplies and ration have been airlifted by the Army Aviation into the affected areas. The spokesman said 124 people, including 31 Bhutanese and 38 Nepalese nationals, have been flown out of Bharatpur to Sarchu. Among them 22 people, including two Australian nationals, were rescued from near Sarchu, he said. All of them have been provided with medicines, warm clothes and hot meals. The Army rescued 96 people from Patsio on foot, he said. 

In the last two days, Air Force Station, Udhampur, has rescued 110 people. On Thursday afternoon, the Udhampur station was tasked with humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) mission near the Chamba and Killar valley in Himachal Pradesh, the spokesman said. Two aircraft were sent immediately, which had to make a careful landing on a small helipad in Chamba.After landing, the air crew learnt 52 school children of 9 to 10 years and 45 medical personnel were stranded at Killar at an elevation of more than 9,500 feet, he said. Both the aircraft established an air bridge between Killar and Chamba to cross a pass more than 15,000 feet above sea level, the spokesman said.

On Friday, 26 medical personnel were rescued from Killar and 24 children from Chamba, he said. Both the aircraft and crew have come back safely to Air Force Station, Udhampur, he said, adding that the government of Himachal Pradesh has applauded the efforts of Air Force Station, Udhampur.


Army rescues 168 tourists stranded on Leh-Manali highway:

THE Army said on Friday it has rescued 168 civilians, including foreign tourists, caught in highly inclement weather on the Leh-Manali highway. Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said: “168 civilians, including 31 Bhutanese, 38 Nepalese nationals and rest Indian tourists, have been evacuated from Bharatpur to Sarchu and provided medical aid, shelter, warm clothing and hot meals.“In addition, 22 others including two Australian nationals present near Sarchu were rescued and provided medical aid.”

A vehicle-cum-foot patrol launched from Patsio to Suraj Tal evacuated 95 civilians and brought them to Patsio. They have been provided immediate medical aid, shelter and warm clothing, he said. A large number of landslides and snowslides have trapped vehicles along the strategic Leh-Manali axis over the past one week.

According to Kalia, the effect has been more pronounced near Baralacha La and along the road from Killing-Sarai to Bharatpur. “The Army detachments operating from Rumtse, Pang, Sarchu, Patsio and Tandi have offered spontaneous help to people stuck at different places providing high-altitude warm clothing, shelter, hot meals, medical aid, satellite communication and carrying out physical rescue missions. “A highly specialised and trained Avalanche Panther Rescue Team of Ladakh Scouts has been inducted into the affected area for rescue and relief operations,” the Defence Ministry spokesman said.

Centre releases Rs 122 cr aid



THE Centre has released Rs 122 crore to rain-hit Himachal Pradesh as an initial assistance to undertake rehabilitation measures, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Friday. He said the State suffered a total loss of Rs 1,479 crore during monsoon season this year.

Presiding over a meeting of State officials, Thakur said Himachal bore a loss of Rs 220.29 crore during recent heavy rains between September 21 and 24, whereas a loss of Rs 1,250 crore occurred between August 13 and 14 as several roads, power and water supply were damaged due to landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy rains. The Centre has released Rs 122 crore as the first instalment for the State to undertake immediate rehabilitation measures, he said.He said over 1,000 stranded people were rescued from Lahaul Valley.

A total of 191 stranded people, including 30 foreigners, were airlifted by the Indian air Force from various areas of Lahual Valley to Kullu district. Many were evacuated through roads, Mandi Divisional Commissioner Vikas Labru said. He said a transformer and 10 electricians were also sent to Lahaul Valley on Friday by an IAF helicopter for restoring power supply there.

The Chief Minister said all the rescued people were taken for medical examinations. Five IAF choppers had been pressed into service to evacuate the stranded tourists and local people.The road up to Baralacha in Lahaul and Spiti district would be cleared soon, he said, adding efforts were being made to restore communication network in Lahaul Valley as early as possible.

Thakur said a BSNL team would visit Sisu area soon for restoration of communication network. Out of 18 towers, only seven were working properly, he said, adding the rest would be made functional soon and the Government would provide all possible help to the BSNL in the restoration work. He directed the officers to ensure adequate availability of essential commodities in the valley. It was informed in the meeting that 18,000 litre petrol and 27,000 litre diesel was made available, whereas LPG cylinders and other food items were also in sufficient quantity in Lahaul Valley.

It was informed in the meeting that water supply in Manali has been restored and work was on progress in Lahaul Valley. He said till the electricity supply was restored in the valley, efforts would be made to provide solar lamps and lights to the people. More small transformers would be airlifted from Kullu for replacing damaged ones in Lahaul Valley, he added.