Choppers evacuating stranded tourists, locals in Kinnaur



Shimla: Rescue operations to evacuate stranded people in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district were underway on Friday with two dedicated choppers pressed into service even as reports of more people stuck in interior Pooh, Nako and Kaza areas poured in.

Two IAF choppers and one state chopper had been deployed for evacuating the stranded but one chopper has developed some problem.

"So far over 550 people have been airlifted but the number is steadily increasing with reports of more people struck at different places, pouring in. Helicopter sorties have also been planned for Pooh, Nako, Kaza and other interior places," he said.

Army patrols are on search and rescue missions to evacuate civilians stranded along the Hindustan Tibet National Highway blocked by landslides and 40 persons have been evacuated till last evening from Nako, Malling, Khab, Dubling, Pooh and Ropa to Army Camps.

Additionally, 140 civilians have been airlifted by Armed Forces helicopters from Nako, Pooh, Bhabhanagar, Rekong Peo and Rampur.

The BSNL tower at Pooh is being operated under the aegis of the Army to facilitate communication by civilians stranded in the area, the release said.

Meanwhile, the army units under the aegis of Western Command, located at Pooh, Malling, Karcham and Khab have provided immediate first aid and medical services and rations and shelter to 65 civilians.

Additionally, Army has also provided rations for 80 civilians at Pooh and 20 civilians in Poari village besides medical relief, plastic tents etc.

PTI