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Landslides cut off 800 pilgrims in Badrinath

July 08, 2004 13:47 IST
Last Updated: July 08, 2004 15:46 IST

An equal number have been evacuated by army helicopters.

Nearly 800 pilgrims have so far been evacuated from Badrinath area and an equal number are still stranded even as rescue operation by helicopters was hampered today due to fresh landslides and bad weather, official sources said.

While 45 people, mostly sick, old and children were evaucated by defence helicopters yesterday, the rest of them trekked through a three-km long tunnel at Vishnuprayag area to make their way back homes, they said.

However, the sources said three MI-17 helicopters,which have been requisitioned from Sarsawa air base at Saharanpur, are presently stationed at Gauchar and Joshimath from where they would make fresh attempt to evacuate some more people.

The state government today said nearly 800 pilgrims were still left in Badrinath, which continued to remain cut off from the rest of the country on the third consecutive day today due to landslides.

This figure did not include local people, including shopkeepers and those living in nearby villages close to the shrine.

Badrinath area was cut off as a cloudburst on Monday night triggered massive landslides and floods that washed away nearly 200 metre-long road on the Joshimath-Badrinath.

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