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Sikkim earthquake: 5,000 troops, 9 choppers join rescue ops

September 19, 2011 12:04 IST

Over 5,000 troops and nine helicopters have been dispatched by the army to carry out rescue and relief operations in quake-hit Sikkim, officials said on Monday.

"Around 5,000 troops in 105 columns and four ALH Dhruv and five Cheetah helicopters have been deployed in the relief operations by the army in the state," army officials said in New Delhi.

The troops include elements from both the infantry and engineers, who are involved in deploying heavy equipment and clearing road blocks at several places in the state, they said.

Officials said that two jawans were killed in north Sikkim in the quake while the three missing vehicles last night have been located and all the troops in them are safe.

They said that army formations in the state have been engaged in providing food and shelter to people in affected areas. At least 2,000 people have been provided help by the army, they said.

The earthquake, which measured 6.8 on the Richter Scale, has also caused substantial damage to certain military buildings in the area.

The IAF, on its part, has already deployed five aircraft -- two C-130Js, two AN-32s and one Avro -- for relief operations.

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