IAF carries earth moving equipments to Leh for relief and rescue operations

     To speed up relief and rescue operations and clear debris and restore communication link to the ravaged town Leh, the Indian Air Force (IAF) commenced lifting bulldozers and excavators from Jammu Air Force Base on Sunday. The Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and paramilitary personnel have been deployed to carry out the rescue operations and provide relief to the people in Ladakh following the devastation caused by a sudden cloudburst that resulted in flash floods on Friday. Group Captain Ghar Singh, Station Commander of the Jammu Air Base said, "This is the second sortie which is gone today from Jammu. First sortie went early in the morning at 6 o' clock in which one Dozer along with its associated equipment was sent. That was delivered at Leh at 9 o' clock and this is the second sortie, in this two JCB's are being sent to Leh." As of now at least 160 people have been declared dead and 600 people are still missing, feared trapped in mud and debris. And to clear the debris excavators are being despatched. "Earth moving equipment is required to clear the debris and also to help in finding the casualties. This the most important equipment, required at the place (Leh) in addition to other relief materials in terms of ration, medical support etc," said the Station Commander "It (rescue operation) is taking place from four to five bases of Western Command . Wherever we have this equipment (earth movers) are available, especially the earth moving equipment, IAF is lifting all that equipment from all those places and taking it to Leh," said Group Captian Ghar Singh. Leh has been hit by unusually bad weather in the past few days, stranding many tourists who normaly visit the region for adventure sports such as white water rafting. The cloudburst is a localised weather phenomenon representing highly concentrated rainfall over a small area lasting for a few hours. This usually leads to flash floods, landslides, house collapse, dislocation of traffic and human casualties on a large scale.

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