The Indian Armed Forces have deployed 10,000 personnel and over 50 planes and choppers to ramp up their relief and rescue operations in the flood-hit areas on Friday.
With the tragedy being described as the worst-ever, the Centre decided to coordinate its resources in reaching out to the victims of the disaster. “Our priority is to provide the survivors with food, medicines and relief materials,” a senior military official said here.
The Army, which already has over 10,000 personnel in its four Brigade-sized formations, has deployed nearly 60 per cent of its troopers in the relief work.
“We will leave no stone unturned to get the survivors to safety,” Central Army Command chief Lt Gen Anil Chait, who has been given the responsibility to coordinate the relief efforts by the Centre, told reporters.
Chait has been camping in the Uttarakhand state capital for the past four days.
“The Army has till now rescued around 16,000 persons by road and airlifted them in nine helicopters by carrying out 115 sorties,” Army Additional Director General Public Information Major General S L Narasimhan said at a media briefing.
Nearly 7,000 are believed to be stranded in the Kedarnath sector, and another 5,000 in the Harsil region.
The IAF has till now deployed 30 helicopters in the rescue operations and to carry relief material and rescue workers.
The Navy dispatched two teams of 12 divers each to Dehradun to help the local administration in the rescue efforts.