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Rescue helicopters trying to reach thousands stuck in Badrinath news
25 June 2013

Rescue and relief operations are now focused on Badrinath with some improvement in the weather after heavy rains overnight and this morning across Uttarakhand.

Air Force helicopters flew sorties in an effort to evacuate people stranded in the high reaches, most of them in the holy city of Badrinath and Harsil, which is 400 km away from Badrinath.
Nearly 9,000 people are reported to be stranded in different parts of the state. Many of them are now in temporary relief camps and have access to food and water.
Around 1,200 people at Harsil are now waiting to be air-lifted. Around 430 people were airlifted from the Harsil-Gangotri area. However, IAF sorties were by and large stopped except in some places like Guptkashi. Ground rescue operations are, however, continuing.

The first batch of the pilgrims who were stuck near Badrinath have now been brought to Gauchar via Joshimath by foot. The Army used collapsible bridges and ropeways to escort the pilgrims via Joshimath, which is 44km from Badrinath and 90km from Gauchar.

To make matters worse, the national highway connecting Badrinath to Delhi and Rishikesh is blocked in several places because of landslides, leaving thousands stranded.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has pulled up the Uttarakhand government and the central government for inaction or lax response to the natural disaster that affected millions of people across North India.

With around 9,000 people still stranded in various places, the SC has once again asked the centre to step up rescue operations in flood-hit Uttarakhand.

The Met department has warned of more rains over the next 24 hours in Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Dehradun. "We're expecting rains across the state. Heavy rains are possible in Uttarkashi and Chamoli and rescue operations will be affected. Rains across the state are expected on Wednesday too".

(See:IAF copter crashes during Uttarakhand rescue ops; 8 killed)

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Rescue helicopters trying to reach thousands stuck in Badrinath