Himachal Pradesh: Air Force rescues 50 trekkers, 500 people still stranded in Lahaul-Spiti

Shimla: In Himachal Pradesh, about 50 students of IIT-Roorkee on a trek in Lahaul valley have been rescued by the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters. Officials said, the IAF also rescued a German couple trapped in a blizzard while trekking from Ringdum to Dibling, adding that over 500 people remain stranded in other areas in Lahaul and Spiti district. The officials said, about 300 are trapped in Baralacha and 200 in Koksar, and helicopters are being deployed to rescue them.

The death toll in the state, battered by heavy rains – and snowfall in Lahaul and Spiti – has risen to 10 with four more deaths being reported yesterday. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the state had suffered losses totaling 1,200 crore rupees after three days of rain, beginning Saturday. There were scattered showers in the state yesterday and the MeT department has predicted that the weather remains the same today.

In her tweet, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Himachal Pradesh has seen unprecedented rain and snowfall this year. In Lahul & Spiti and Kullu districts, several rivers have flown above danger mark and cause damage to roads and bridges in the last 3 days. Border Roads Organization is conducting search and rescue ops to evacuate 150 stranded people in Koksar & Sissu area. Evacuation is by road through Rohtang Tunnel after snow clearance. BRO has also worked round the clock to rescue 300 persons from Baralacha La including 34 Bhutanese & 38 Nepalese citizens.”

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