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90 air sorties, over 33,000 rescued in Uttarakhand

90 air sorties, over 33,000 rescued in Uttarakhand

New Delhi: The government Thursday said a total of 33,192 people, stranded due to floods in Uttarakhand, were rescued and helicopters -- privately owned and belonging to the Army and Air Force -- carried out 90 sorties, airlifting people.

Seventeen helicopters of the Army and Air Force were involved in the rescue effort, and 11 private ones.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the home ministry release said, rescued 654 and 1,800 people respectively.

NDRF also recovered 17 dead bodies.

The toll had gone up to 72, the Uttarakhand government said.

According to the home ministry statement, a total of 50,422 pilgrims were still stranded at various places.

National Highway 94 between Dharasu and Rishikesh was opened by the Border Roads Organisation Thursday.

Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh, who visited the affected areas Wednesday, reviewed the position with state government officials at Dehradun for effective coordination of the relief effort.

The search, rescue and relief operations are being carried out with the help of helicopters and personnel from Army, Air Force, NDRF, the Sashastra Sena Bal and Uttarakhand government.

The defence ministry said Thursday that the Army had deployed 8,100 soldiers, including medical teams, engineer task forces and signal detachment. Ten specialised mountaineering teams of the Army were also pressed into service in the Kedarnath-Soumang area.


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