Heavy snowfall since yesterday near Sela Pass, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh has affected many in the region. Due to the heavy and unexpected snowfall in Tawang, as many as 680 people and 320 vehicles have been stuck there.

Many teams of army personnel have been on the rescue missions as the operations continued late into the night.

More than two feet of snow fell yesterday afternoon and a large number of vehicles got stuck in the sub-zero temperatures between Ahirgarh and Sela Pass.

Three rescue teams from the nearest base camps at Baisakhi worked relentlessly till midnight and people were brought to safety.

One team led by havaldar Prasan Rai working in the north of Sela Pass extricated 188 stranded vehicles and approximately 400 stuck civilians to the rescue camp established at Jaswantgarh by 7.30 pm from where they moved on their own.

More than 680 people stuck due to heavy snowfall at Sela Pass near Tawan rescued.

Additionally, two teams led by Captain Tarun Singh Guleria and Captain Lavanya Sharma launched rescue operations to evacuate civilians stranded in the south of Sela Pass and they evacuated 280 persons and 132 vehicles till late in the evening.

Conduct of rescue work in sub-zero temperatures at an altitude of more than 13,000 feet in a hazardous terrain under failing ambient lighting conditions posed a formidable challenge for the teams.

The troops of the Baisakhi Brigade of the Blazing Sword Division toiled for more than seven hours to get people to safety.

More than 680 people stuck due to heavy snowfall at Sela Pass near Tawan rescued.

The rescued included a one-and-a-half-year-old child who was having difficulty in breathing and a seventy-year-old tourist whose blood pressure had spiked to more than 200. The critically ill patients were stabilised at the medical post in Ahirgarh and later evacuated.

Last year too, sudden heavy snowfall at this location had led to launch of a massive rescue operation by the army on March 18 wherein 127 civilians were rescued.

(With inputs from Gopi)