The Indian Army rescued over 1000 tourists in Sikkim, who had been stuck near the state's Changu Lake following heavy rainfall on Saturday, 25 December.
Severe snowfall had occurred in areas of Nathu La, Tsomgo Lake and adjoining areas on Saturday afternoon. Following the snowfall on Saturday, the Jawaharlal Nehru Road was closed as a result of which hundreds of tourists got stuck, officials said, as per news agency PTI. Approximately 1027 tourists in 120 vehicles had got stranded over a stretch of 15 kilometeres.
The Army reportedly rescued the tourists in army vehicles and offered them a temporary shelter at a military camp during the night. Around 250 people from different districts of West Bengal were among the tourists who got stuck, officials pointed out.
"Tourists were provided shelters, warm clothing, medical aid and hot meals," the Army said.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, who represents Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency in Arunachal Pradesh, later took to social media to advise tourists to avoid Tawang in Arunal Pradesh during this time.
"Advise to tourists visiting Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh at this point of time. It is reported heavy snow fall between Baishakhi, Sela Pass and Nuranang. Pls get proper information before you move because the road is extremely dengerous to drive and temperature goes down to -25!" he tweeted.
Rescue Operations to Continue on Monday
On Sunday morning, 26 December, the weather conditions had improved, after which the Army personnel divided the tourists into small groups and took them by foot to Gangtok, 40 kilometers away.
The tourists were visiting the Tsongmo or Changu Lake located near India's border with China during the Christmas holidays.
The rescue operations will reportedly resume till Monday, 27 December.
(With inputs from PTI)