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Indian Army rescues over 1,000 tourists stranded in Sikkim amid heavy snow

As many as 1027 tourists stranded in several parts of Sikkim were rescued by the Indian Army on Sunday.

The Indian Army has rescued as many as 1,027 tourists who had been stranded in the upper reaches of East Sikkim near the China Border at Nathu La as vehicles had started skidding on the highway following heavy snowfall on Saturday.

Severe snowfall had occurred in areas of Nathu La, Tsomgo Lake and adjoining areas on Saturday afternoon, bringing down the temperature to sub-zero levels.

After the heavy snowfall, the vehicles started skidding on the Jawaharlal Nehru Marg that connects these areas with Gangtok. Altogether, there were approximately 1027 tourists in 120 vehicles, who got stranded over a stretch of 15 kilometres, according to an Indian army press statement. 

Army personnel of the Black Cat Division posted in the area intervened, rescued the tourists in army vehicles, and shifted them to a military camp.

All the tourists were provided with accommodation, hot meals, warm clothing and critical medical support.

Attracted by the season’s first snowfall in parts of North and East Sikkim, tourists had flocked to the region after the government opened its doors for tourism.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, who represents Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency advised tourists visiting Tawang and said that the road is extremely dangerous to drive and the temperature goes down to minus 25 degree Celsius.

"Advice to tourists visiting Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh at this point in time. It is reported that there is heavy snowfall between Baishakhi, Sela Pass and Nuranang. Pls get proper information before you move because the road is extremely dangerous to drive and temperature goes down to -25!" he tweeted.