- Title: INDIA: Air Force rescues foreign tourists from floods
- Date: 11th August 2010
- Summary: LEH, JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE, INDIA (AUGUST 10, 2010) (ANI-NO ACCESS BBC) VARIOUS OF HELICOPTER OF THE INDIAN AIR FORCE (IAF) AT THE AIR BASE IN LEH IN INDIA'S NORTHERN JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE FOREIGN TOURISTS GETTING OFF THE IAF HELICOPTER FOREIGN TOURISTS COLLECTING THEIR BAGGAGE AND WALKING AWAY FROM HELICOPTER ANOTHER MILITARY HELICOPTER AN AIR FORCE OFFICIAL OPENING THE DOOR OF THE HELICOPTER FOREIGNER TOURIST WITH BACKPACK GETTING OFF THE HELICOPTER TOURIST WALKING TOWARDS THE HANGER ANOTHER SET OF TOURIST GETTING OFF AN IAF HELICOPTER
- Embargoed: 26th August 2010 12:12
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVA2EQGS2EEUB1ENM2VL2XKIR6XS
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Indian military helicopters on Monday (July 10) flew about 100 foreign tourists to safety in the Himalayan region of Ladakh where flash floods have killed 156 people.
At least 300 people remain missing. Last week's floods triggered by heavy rains, destroyed homes, uprooted telephone towers and deposited boulders and mud up to 15 feet high (4 metres) on highways, cutting road links with the rest of India.
The remote region borders Pakistan which has been hit by the worst floods in 80 years. Over 1,600 people have died and at least two million have been left homeless in neighbouring Pakistan.
Tourists were airlifted from the Zanskar valley near Leh, where they were stranded for three days, an air force spokesperson said.
Six helicopters of the Indian Air Force undertook more than 60 sorties to evacuate the foreigners who were on a trekking holiday in the region.
About 160 people, mostly foreigners, were awaiting evacuation in the remote areas of Lama Yuru and Karu.
The rescued tourists who were brought to the air base in Leh were from 12 different countries: 17 each from the United Kingdom and France, nine from The Netherlands, eight from Czech Republic, seven Germans, four each from Israel, Switzerland and Romania, three Austrians and three Australians, three trekkers from Italy and 2 Spaniards.
At least 25,000 people have been affected by the floods, army officials said.
Some 7,000 soldiers were deployed to rebuild roads and bridges. Some 33 soldiers were also feared to have been swept away in the floods that hit the Ladakh region on Friday (August 6).
Thousands of tourists travel to Ladakh every year to visit old Buddhist monasteries and to do adventure sports such as white water rafting.
In Leh, the main Buddhist town located at an altitude of 3,505 metres (11,499 feet) in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, health officials were struggling to treat the injured in the civilian hospital, which was also badly damaged by the floods.
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
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