32 airlifted from Lahaul & Spiti on day 5 of rescue operations
The Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel on Saturday airlifted 32 people from Chhatru area of snow-marooned Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
“The rescued people were brought to Kullu and their medical examination was conducted,” said Kullu deputy commissioner Yunus Khan.
On Friday, a 38-year-old man was found in critical condition in Bharatpur region of the valley by GREF personnel. He was airlifted to Leh by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on Saturday.
Aerial rescue operations were hampered on Friday due to fresh snowfall on the higher reaches and were resumed only on Saturday afternoon after the weather conditions improved.
In one of the longest and largest rescue operations of its kind in the state, teams of IAF, BRO, police and mountaineering experts have evacuated more than 2000 people, mostly tourists, who were stranded at various locations in the Himalayas due to heavy snowfall.
Early snowfall in the higher reaches, cloudburst and heavy rains snapped several road links in the state from September 22 to 24.
Kullu and Lahaul & Spiti districts were the worst affected.
Heavy snowfall on the Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft) has cut off the Lahaul and Spiti valleys, affecting large number of tourists and hampering water and electricity supply.
The rescue operation has entered last stage as the remaining batch of tourists stuck at various locations in the valley were brought to Keylong, district headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti, and at Sarchu. They are being rescued from here by road.