Devastated by the unprecedented flash flood, a thing unheard of in the past at high altitude district of Lahaul-Spiti, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur braved inclement weather to reach out to the affected families and tourists who remained stranded for five days with small children and women.
The Chief Minister was at Dharamshala from where he managed to fly to Keylong this afternoon.
Till now, 178 persons have been rescued safely by the fire brigade, ITBP, Police and Home Guard personnel with support of the locals, who used all traditional means like ropes, jhulas (swings) and steel stairs to evacuate the tourists and women with infants .
However, reports said 10 persons went missing after the flash floods triggered by a cloud-burst at Tojing Nallah.
Of these, bodies of seven have been retrieved and efforts are being made to recover the remaining three bodies.
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The visuals of tourists being evacuated across Tojing nallah, which had high tides, have gone viral. A patient was evacuated through the gushing river water with great efforts to save his life.
The Chief Minister appreciated the efforts of the ITBP rescue team in assisting the local authorities.
The CM went around the affected areas of Lahaul valley to take stock of the losses that occurred due to flood in Tojing Nallah on July 27. He inspected these areas with the team of district administration, BRO and ITBP.
“As many as 178 persons were rescued today while 37 people are still stranded in Jahalma, 14 at Fooda and 15 at Shansha '' he said.
He also went upto Shansha Nallah, where roads and bridges had been damaged at large scale.
The district administration had earlier tried to airlift the tourists and locals stranded in the area but inclement weather posed a challenge to fly the choppers even as efforts were also made to hire helicopter from Leh. The operation was later done manually.