Soldiers sent to rescue tens of thousands of villagers and tourists stranded by landslides and floods in the Himalayas

 

  • 10,000 soldiers are to be deployed in a massive rescue operation
  • 22,400 have been rescued so far with 62,000 people still stranded in the area
  • Officials are taking advantage of the better weather to send in helicopters
  • Landslides have destroyed homes, buildings, roads and bridges
  • At least 138 people have been killed, according to officials

By Jaymi Mccann

 

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Almost 10,000 soldiers have been deployed as part of a massive rescue mission after tourists and pilgrims were left stranded when monsoon rains hit the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

While more than 22,400 have been rescued so far, 62,000 people are still stranded in the area, the Home Ministry confirmed.

Officials are taking advantage of the better weather to send in helicopters, reported the Daily Telegraph.

Damaged houses are seen at a village in Rudraprayag in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand

Damaged houses are seen at a village in Rudraprayag in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand

 

Indian Army Paratroopers prepare to leave for rescue operations at an airfield in Gauchar

Indian Army Paratroopers prepare to leave for rescue operations at an airfield in Gauchar

 

Emergency tenting erected by the Delhi government next to the flooded area of Yamuna River. Low lying areas were flooded as the water level in the river has increased above the danger mark

Emergency tenting erected by the Delhi government next to the flooded area of Yamuna River. Low lying areas were flooded as the water level in the river has increased above the danger mark

Ajay Chadha, chief of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, said: ‘Our priority is to take out the children and women first by helicopter. We hope to rescue the living and then start the scavenging task.’

Overflowing rivers and landslides have destroyed houses, buildings, bridges and small roads that lead to pilgrimage towns.

There has been four-and-a-half times the amount of monsoon rain than is usually expected.

Fast moving water flows over a Hindu statue during a heavy monsoon rain in Rishikesh town in the Indian state of Uttrakhand

Fast moving water flows over a Hindu statue during a heavy monsoon rain in Rishikesh town in the Indian state of Uttrakhand

 

Indian security personnel supervise residents and travellers as they stand on the remains of a flood damaged road alongside the River Alaknanda

Indian security personnel supervise residents and travellers as they stand on the remains of a flood damaged road alongside the River Alaknanda

Pilgrims try to cross a pathway damaged by landslide. Early monsoon rains have swollen the Ganges, India's longest river, swept away houses, killed at least 138 people

Pilgrims try to cross a pathway damaged by landslide. Early monsoon rains have swollen the Ganges, India’s longest river, swept away houses, killed at least 138 people

 

Local residents wade waist-high through the flood water that entered a marketplace area close to Yamuna river

Local residents wade waist-high through the flood water that entered a marketplace area close to Yamuna river

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