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North India floods: Army leads rescue operations

In this photograph received from the Indian Army on June 20, 2013, members of the Indian Defence Forces tend to a patient at a field hospital following flash floods in the northern Uttarakhand state. India's military battled on June 20 to reach villages and towns cut off by flash floods and landslides in the country's north as officials warned at least 1,000 people may have been killed. AFP PHOTO/INDIAN ARMY ----EDITORS NOTE---- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT - "AFP PHOTO/INDIAN ARMY" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS -----

Dramatic images of Uttarakhand rescue operations

June 22, 2013

The Indian Army has launched what could be one of the biggest human rescue operations ever in the country, in Uttarakhand.

The Army has mobilized troops for rescue and relief efforts, as it simultaneously reached out to over 8000 people on all four different axes, viz, Rishikesh – Uttarkashi – Harsil – Gangotri axis; Rudraprayag – Kedarnath axis, Joshimath – Badrinath axis and Dharchhula – Tawaghat axis in Pithoragarh district. It also opened road up to Uttarkashi after clearing 16 landslides.

Communication nodes have been established at Gaucher, Harsil, Joshimath and Rudraprayag to enable people to contact their families. 30 Satellite phones have so far been inducted, 20 more are likely to be inducted for use by stranded pilgrims.

Army is presently carrying out reconnaissance to examine the feasibility of making a larger helipad at Gagaria on Hemkund Sahib axis so that large number of people can be evacuated using MI-17 helicopter.

Efforts are presently underway to repair the bridge over Alaknanda between Govindghat and Ghagria on Hemkund Sahib Road.