As many as 144 tourists are stranded in Himachal Pradesh's Lahaul-Spiti following a cloudburst and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall, according to a statement issued here on Thursday. The district administration said 204 people were stuck in Pattan Valley, of which 60 were rescued by police and Fire Department officials with the help of a ladder bridge.
Earlier, State Disaster Management Director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta had said 175 people were stranded, including 60 women and 16 children. Deputy Commissioner Neeraj Kumar has sought helicopter support from the state government for their evacuation, a district spokesperson said.
Mokhta said sorties with a state government helicopter have been planned for tomorrow due to weather conditions. Their evacuation through road seems difficult as the route via Pangi is not expected to be ready by Friday evening, Mokhta said.
Several roads and bridges have been damaged in the district due to bad weather. In an SMS to PTI, a tourist from Punjab's Hoshiarpur, Ravindra Sood, said, "More than 100 tourists have been stranded in Trilokinat and 35 in Fudan villages due to recent cloudburst in Jhalman, Shansha and Thirot areas in Lauhal Valley." Sood said the number of people stranded at Jhalwan and Udaipur villages is yet to be known and the road was damaged at several places between Kirting and Thirot.