FROM AN ARMY PRESS RELEASE
All photos Courtesy: Indian Army’s Central Command
More than 5000 Army men fanned out across the districts of Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh districts in Uttarakhand and Saharanpur, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and Pilibhit districts of Uttar Pradesh in order to rescue and provide relief to stranded civil population affected by unprecedented floods. Army assistance Centres at Harsil, Rudraprayag, Joshimath, Mana, Gagriya, Govindghat and Dharchula have been providing shelter, food, first aid and fresh water to hundreds of pilgrims stranded at various locations due to torrential rain and swollen rivers. Eight quick reaction medical teams established medical aid posts at a number of locations and four ambulance vehicles have been deployed to evacuate injured people.
The Air Force has deployed 12 Mi-17 helicopters .
In Uttarakhand, Army is undertaking rescue and relief operations in four sectors Harsil, Kedarnath, Joshimath and Dharchula. Army column evacuated 600 people across a rivulet by laying a temporary bridge of wooden logs. All the people have now been brought to safety. Two officers and 24 soldiers have been inducted by helicopter this morning into Sirsi near Gauri Kund, 17 km short of Kedarnath. Evacuation of pilgrims by foot is presently under way. In Joshimath sector, NH-58 has been washed away at Govindghat. More than 2000 have been evacuated on foot and are now housed in Joshimath. 1100 are in Army shelters. Efforts are underway to lay cable bridge across Alaknanda to evacuate stranded Hemkund Sahib pilgrims. More than 450 were evacuated yesterday. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from low lying areas of Dharchula and adjoining areas flooded by swollen Kali River.
Army colums are presently in the process of evacuating marooned villagers at Rawli 8 km west of Bijnor. One Army relief column is now evacuating stranded people from Shamili and Daulatpur areas of Saharanpur district.
Two Army columns and border roads personnel have now cleared the road upto 30 kms South of Dharasu on Rishikesh – Uttarkashi road. 200 people of Tharali village 5 kms North of Harsil have been evacuated and brought to safety this morning.
Army has launched a coordinated effort to first ensure safety of people and assist local administration in creating capability to sustain efforts in helping the people. Humanitarian assistance in terms of food, shelter, warm clothing and medical aid has been provided across the regions. Surya Medical Emergency Helpline was of immense help to stranded pilgrims as more than 500 calls have been received so far in the last 24 hours. Central Command will continue to serve the people wherever they are.