Srinagar: The Army said on Friday it has rescued 168 civilians, including foreign tourists, caught in highly inclement weather on the Leh-Manali highway.
“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,” the army said.
“In addition, 22 others including two Australian nationals present near Sarchu were rescued and provided medical aid,” they said.
A vehicle-cum-foot patrol launched from Patsio to Suraj Tal evacuated 95 civilians and brought them to Patsio. They have been provided immediate medical aid, shelter and warm clothing, the army said.
A large number of landslides and snowslides have trapped vehicles along the strategic Leh-Manali axis over the past one week.
The effect has been more pronounced near Baralacha La and along the road from Killing-Sarai to Bharatpur.
“A highly specialised and trained Avalanche Panther Rescue Team of Ladakh Scouts has been inducted into the affected area for rescue and relief operations,” the army said. “The second Avalanche Rescue Team is also being inducted shortly. One Medical Officer and one Signals Officer have been inducted to Patsio for providing medical assistance and communication arrangements to the stranded civilians.”