Army claims major rescue successes in flood-hit Uttarkhand

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 21, 2013 17:16 hrs

Lucknow: The Indian Army's Central Command on Friday claimed that it had achieved major successes through its "Operation Surya Hope" in Uttarkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Spearheaded by General Officer Commanding-in Chief (GOC-in-C), Central Army Command, Lt. Gen. Anil Chait, the army today opened the all important road link from Sonprayag to Gauri Kund which is the base camp for trek to Kedarnath.

Approximately 1000 people stranded at Gauri Kund are now being evacuated along the newly opened road to Sonprayag and Tehri, a Central Army Command press release said.

Army para troopers with specialized mountaineering equipment reached out to people stuck in various gorges, ravines and nallas between Gauri Kund and Ram Bara this morning.

At least 70 men are now carrying out search operations in Ram Bara area which was washed away by floods.

In a daring act, Army Aviation pilots landed a special force at Jungle Chatti near Ram Bara and rescued 16 people from river bed.

In the Joshimath sector, the army constructed a temporary bridge across the Alaknanda River near Govind Ghat to facilitate stranded Hemkund Sahib pilgrims to cross over.

Similarly, two land slides between Govind Ghat and Gagariya have been cleared paving the way for pilgrims to move by foot.

About 500 people have been evacuated so far. Army teams reached Badrinath and Ghagriya today and 91 people were evacuated today by Army helicopters. About 322 people were air lifted from Gagaria.

Army Aviation helicopters so far flew 104 sorties with 12 aircraft evacuating 523 people and delivering 13,000 Kgs of food, fuel and medicines. In Pithoragarh district, eight stranded civilians were evacuated by Army helicopter from Milam today.

A medical camp was established at Tijam providing medical aid to people affected by floods. 65 patients were treated by Army Medical team at Gothi in Pithoragarh district. 160 civilians were evacuated from inundated areas and moved to upper reaches and were given first air, food and shelter.

Army teams last night reached Gangotri for the first time since the floods. Approximately 500 people in Gangotri are now in the process of being evacuated to Harsil. Army camp at Harsil provided shelter, food and medical aid to 1500 people. Some of them have since been evacuated by helicopters from Harsil.

The Army today air lifted 3.6 tons of food to Harsil today. It has now opened the road Rishikesh - Gangotri upto Uttarkashi.

The road between Uttarkashi to Harsil is still not open to traffic due to land slides at number of places. This 74 Km stretch is the focus of Army's attention during phase 2 of SURYA HOPE commencing tomorrow.

An army team has been heli landed 12 Kms inside the Pindari glacier in Bageshwar district of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand to link up and evacuate 50 people stranded on the glacier.

Four flood relief columns of Army are assisting civil administration in evacuating people from flood affected areas of Pilibhit, Laksar, Mawana and parts of East Delhi. 1354 people have so far been evacuated from Pilibhit alone.

The army, as of date, has deployed approximately 10,000 of its personnel to carryout rescue, relief search and humanitarian assistance operations in Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Bageshwar and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand and seven districts of UP comprising Saharanpur, Bijnor, Haridwar, Pilibhit, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Amroha. Army operations are continuing in full swing. 

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