IAF carries excavators to Leh for relief and rescue operation

August 8th, 2010 - 8:08 pm ICT by ANI  

By Tahir Nadeem Khan

Technical Air Port (Jammu) August 8 (ANI): In its bid to speed up relief and rescue operations and clear debris and restore communication link to the ravaged town Leh, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday commenced lifting bulldozers and excavators from Jammu Air Force Base of Jammu and Kashmir state.

The Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and paramilitary personnel have been deployed to carry out the rescue operations and provide relief to the people in Ladakh following the devastation caused by a sudden cloudburst that resulted in flash floods on Friday (August 6).

Supervising the relief operation of IAF, Group Captain Ghar Singh, Station Cdr. Jammu air Base said, “This is the second sortie which is gone today from Jammu. First sortie was early in the morning at 6 o’ clock in which one [bull] Dozer along with its associated equipment was sent. That was delivered at Leh at 9 o’ clock and this is the second sortie, in this two JCB’s are being sent to Leh.”

As of now at least 160 people have been declared dead and 600 people are still missing, which are hoped to be trapped in mud and debris. And to clear the debris excavators are the most important tools to speed up rescue operation.

“I think, what we can gather that earth moving equipment to clear the debris and also to help out in terms of finding the casualties. This the most important equipment, probably which is required at the place (Leh) in addition to other relief materials in terms of ration, medical support etc,” said station Cdr.

“It (Rescue operation) is taking place from four to five basis of western Command and the thing is wherever we have this equipment (earth movers) available, especially the earth moving equipment, IAF is lifting all that equipment from all those places and taking it to Leh,” said Group Captian Ghar Singh.

Leh, a Buddhist-dominated region that also shares borders with China and Pakistan, has been hit by unusually bad weather in the past few days, stranding many tourists who flock to the place for adventure sports such as white water rafting.

The cloudburst is a localised weather phenomena representing highly concentrated rainfall over a small area lasting for few hours. This usually leads to flash floods, landslides, house collapse, dislocation of traffic and human casualties at a large scale. (ANI)

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