Air rescue operations in Uttarakhand suspended due to bad weather

New Delhi: Air operations to rescue stranded people in flood-hit Uttarakhand have been suspended due to overcast conditions but the ground operations are on, Indo Tibetan Border Police chief Ajay Chadha said on Sunday.
"Most of the people who are stuck in the areas near Kedarnath shrine have been evacuated. The rescue operations on the ground are on, but the air sorties have been suspended for the time being due to adverse weather conditions," he told reporters here.
"Low clouds are creating problems, but we are making attempts to fly to reach out to stranded people. As soon as weather conditions stabilise, flights will be resumed," he said. The ITBP troops transported more than 400 people with the help of choppers from Jungle Chatti area on Saturday. These people were taken to Gore Gaon, from where they were evacuated, Chadha said.
He added, "Till previous night, there were 60-70 people left around Kedarnath shrine. Around 100 people are still stranded in Goregaon and 450 people are yet to be evacuated from Jungle Chatti and nearby areas."
"Efforts are on to rescue small number of people left stranded in Bhairon Chatti, where NDRF team is also creating a helipad. The moment it is ready and the clouds clear up, air rescue will start," the ITBP chief said. The ITBP team has reestablished the road route from Badrinath to Hanuman Chatti which is being used to carry on foot rescue operations.
"The team has brought 2,500 people till Hanuman Chatti today. From there, they will have to walk 10 kilometres till Gobind Ghat. From Gobind Ghat they will be transported by vehicles to Joshimath," he said. Road connectivity has been restored in Pithoragad.
"We were also facing some difficulties in carrying air operations due to air turbine fuel (ATF) shortage. The oil tankers have started reaching us. We are sharing our reserved oil stock with IAF," he said. Chadha said that in order to have uninterrupted communication during the rescue work, the Home Ministry has distributed 25 satellite phones. Fifty more phones have been procured and are being distributed.
Next: Chiranjeevi asks fans to support Uttarakhand flood victims 

Chiranjeevi asks fans to support Uttarakhand flood victims 
Vijayawada: Union Minister of State for Tourism (independent charge) K. Chiranjeevi on Sunday appealed to people in Andhra Pradesh to come out and support the flood victims in Uttarakhand.
The actor-turned-politician also asked his followers to send their contributions to Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust for the victims hailing from Andhra Pradesh. The minister visited the residence of a missing Chardham pilgrimage victim in the city along with PCC president and state transport minister Botsa Satyanarayana today and shared the grief of the family members.
Later, he told reporters that he will contribute Rs one crore from his Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund for the victims and also one month salary, as instructed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He said that the government is continuously monitoring the rescue operations and welfare of the victims.
The state government has deputed ministers and officials to look after the welfare of victims from the state and also to bring them back from the affected areas, Satyanarayana said. 
Jayalalithaa announces Rs five cr in support to Uttarakhand
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Sunday announced a sum of Rs five crore as a 'token of support and solidarity' to the rain-ravaged state of Uttarakhand, facing its worst natural calamity, and assured 'any assistance' to the Himalayan state.
She said Uttarakhand was faced with a very major task of ensuring effective and immediate rescue, relief and rehabilitation and reconstruction of the 'devastated' areas in the coming days. "As a token of support and solidarity of the Government and people of Tamil Nadu with Government and people of Uttarakhand in their hour of need, I have ordered immediate contribution of a sum of Rs 5 crore from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund to the Government of Uttarakhand," she said.
The heavy rainfall and landslides had caused extensive loss of life and property and untold suffering both to the residents of the affected areas and a large number of pilgrims and tourists visiting the holy shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Hemkunt Sahib, she said in statement. The Government of Tamil Nadu "stands ready to render any other assistance as may be required by the Government of Uttarakhand," she said.
She recalled her government's steps to rescue and bring back pilgrims from Tamil Nadu stranded in Kedarnath and Badrinath and said 275 persons have been brought to Chennai as on June 22 and all facilities extended to them. She assured extending the facilities to the rest returning from Uttarakhand. 

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