IAF launches operation 'Rahat' to rescue stranded pilgrims in Uttarakhand, Himachal

New Delhi, June 18 (ANI): The Indian Air Force (IAF) has launched Operation 'Rahat' to rescue stranded pilgrims in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh after heavy rains wreaked havoc in northern India.

Two additional helicopters were put into service today along with the National Disaster Response Force teams in Himachal Pradesh. Relief operations are in full swing providing aid to thousands of stranded pilgrims and tourists.

IAF assistance was sought for rescue operations. HQ Western Air Command(WAC) promptly responded to the requests from various states for providing flood relief. IAF undertook the task simultaneously in the sectors of Yamunanagar, Kedarnath-Badrinath axis, Rudrapyag valley, Karcham- Puh axis.

Airforce station Sarsawa was made the hub centre with helicopters converging from Bhatinda and Hindon. A number of Medium lift helicopters including the newly inducted MI -17 V5 were positioned on June 17 at Jollygrant helipad at Dehradun despite inclement weather.

On June 17, a total of 36 people were evacuated from general area Karnal by MI -17 V5. In addition 21 passengers including 15 children were rescued from Nakud by ALH operating Ex Sarsawa. (ANI)

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