New Delhi: Entering the last phase of relief operations in flood-hit Uttarakhand, the Indian Air Force on Saturday said it has completed the evacuation of stranded pilgrims in Harsil using 26 of its aircraft there. "The IAF airlifted the last 12 pilgrims from Harsil. Harsil is completely evacuated," IAF spokesperson Wg Cdr Gerard Galway said in New Delhi.
He said 842 pilgrims were airlifted by the force from Badrinath sector and the IAF will continue its operations in the sector for two more days. Over 2,500 pilgrims were stranded in Harsil and Badrinath till Friday and they are being evacuated by the Army and the IAF using both aerial and land routes. The IAF has deployed a total of 26 aircraft for the operations.
The IAF has been involved in the rescue operations since June 17 and has flown around 1,800 sorties airlifting more than 15,000 people in the process.
The Army is also continuing its efforts there and had deployed around 8,000 troops along with over 4,000 personnel under the Border Roads Organisation. The Army had also deployed 13 of its choppers in the relief missions and has evacuated over 30,000 people from there.