Fourteen American tourists evacuated from Kinnaur


American touristsSHIMLA: Fourteen American tourists struck at Banjar camp in Himachal Pradesh’s rain-ravaged Kinnaur district were evacuated and brought to Rampur as rescue operations to airlift 200 tourists and locals resumed this morning.

Two choppers positioned at Rampur started sorties to Sangla, Pooh and Nako while one chopper which left Shimla had to return due to bad weather.

“About five dozen tourists including foreigners were struck at Sangla for past nine days and efforts are being made to evacuate all of them by today evening,” officials said.

With the opening of Hindustan-Tibet National Highway up to district headquarter at Rekong Peo, efforts are being made to bring the stranded people to Rekong Peo for onward transportation by road.

Almost all the people stranded at Nako have been evacuated and any left out person would be airlifted today while two choppers would continue to operate between Rampur and interior tribal areas of Kinnaur, cut off from rest of the state by road for past nine days.

About 50 tourists were rescued on foot from Sangla by a 14-member team of National Disaster Response Force and brought to Karchham through trekking route, which was 11 km short than the road route.

The Karchham Sangla road has been badly damaged and would take couple of weeks for restoration while the Border roads Organization and state Public Works Department are working overtime to open the national highway, which was blocked due to landslides and road breaches at numerous points. -PTI