Jammu, Sep 28 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 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 aircrafts 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 aircrafts 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 aircrafts 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. AB IND