Shimla: Sixty-three people, including three German and 10 women Indian tourists with three children, were airlifted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) from Himachal Pradesh’s snow-ravaged Lahaul valley on Thursday. Besides, over 300 people were rescued by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) by road also, officials said. The total number of people rescued in the past three days rose to over 1,300, including 18 foreigners. They were stranded at various locations in the Himalayas for the past five days with heavy snowfall in the region triggering massive landslides that blocked many roads in Lahaul-Spiti district. With the weather clearing up, search and rescue operation began early for the third day.
“About 400-500 people are still awaiting evacuation. All stranded tourists have been provided food stuff and medical kits and would be evacuated in a day or two, mostly by road as snow clearing operation in Baralacha Pass area is in full swing,” a government official told IANS. A large number of people are reported to be stuck in Suraj Tal lake and Zingzing Bar areas along Keylong-Leh road. Over 300 labourers of the BRO, a Ministry of Defence wing, involved in construction of roads in forward areas have also been stranded since September 22.(IANS)