IAF rushes to evacuate snow-trapped in Jammu

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Friday rushed to evacuate as many snow-trapped people as possible from remote areas of the Jammu region before it starts raining or snowing again.

A defence spokesperson said 108 adults and 13 children have so far been rescued since the IAF started the evacuation operation Wednesday.

He said over 300 people were trapped in an inaccessible mountainous area that recently experienced heavy snowfall which cut off many villages like Sondar, Dachan, Marwah, Nawapachi and Warwan from the rest of the state.

"These villages do not have road connectivity. The people have to trek long distances to go to their villages," the spokesperson said.

The operation, being carried out by a helicopter unit of the IAF under the leadership of Wing Commander Anurag Kumar, was suspended Thursday due to severe snow blowing in Nawapachi, Inchan area in Kishtwar district.

It takes minimum three to four days of difficult trek on foot to reach most of the cut-off villages.

The IAF spokesperson said visibility was very low and the temperature was also 5-6 degrees Celsius below the freezing point.

Said Mohammad Abbas of Marwah who was airlifted by the IAF along with his family: "We were stranded there for two weeks."

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