Sikkim: Indian Army rescues 2,500 tourist stuck due to heavy snowfall near Nathula

Indian Army rescued over 2500 tourists stranded due to heavy snowfall in Natu La Pass along the Indo-China border in Sikkim .


Gangtok

The area between 17 Mile and Natu La along the Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg received heavy snow fall on 28 December 2018.  This led to 300 – 400 civil vehicles getting stranded near 17 Mile carrying over 2500 tourists who were returning after visit to Natu La Pass along the Indo-China border.

The Indian Army immediately swung into action to provide rescue and relief to the stranded tourists including food, shelter, warm clothing and medicines.  The tourists included women, children and elderly persons.  1500 tourist have been accommodated at 17 Mile, while the balance tourists are at 13 Mile.

Indian Army has also provided two sets of JCBs and Dozers of BRO for snow clearance and restoration of road connectivity.  As per Indian Army, the evacuation operation will continue till all stranded tourists are safely moved out towards Gangtok.

Nathu La is a mountain pass in East Sikkim district and is situated at a height of 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level. Only Indians can visit the pass and after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.

Sikkim received its first snowfall of the season on Friday giving the tourists to the Himalayan state reason to cheer. Snowfall in the state usually takes place in January while it does not snow in the capital city Gangtok.

According to a meteorological centre, there was snowfall in the upper reaches of the state like Lachen and Lachung in North, at Ravangla in South and in Hanuman Tonk region in East Sikkim.

Tourists were seen coming out on the roads from their hotels and vehicles to enjoy the snowfall.

The weather changed in the afternoon with lighting, rain and hailstrom in various parts of the state.

After the rains, the minimum temperature in Gangtok dropped to 6 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.

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