Along with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), detachments of the Indian Army stepped in today to help with the ongoing rescue operations in Himachal Pradesh. Colonel Rajesh Kalia, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence provided details about the areas from which the rescues had been made, saying, “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 specialized and trained Avalanche Panther Rescue Team of Ladakh Scouts has been inducted into the affected area for rescue and relief operations.”
Speaking about the people rescued so far by the efforts of the army, Colonel 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.” The Army Aviation corp has also provided assistance by taking supplies of food rations, medical stores, oxygen cylinders and other vital supplies to the affected areas.
Himachal Pradesh experienced heavy rains and snow over the last week and a half, and this led to many groups of people visiting the state to being stranded in remote locations, with no way of making it to a safer area, or with rescue personnel being able to get to them.