Helicopters being sent to rescue people trapped in the snow in Jumla

Published On: February 6, 2022 01:09 PM NPT By: DB BUDHA

JUMLA, Feb 6: The Karnali provincial government has started sending helicopters to rescue the people trapped in the snow in Patan area. They had gone there to collect herbs. Due to continuous snowfall since Thursday, 55 locals of Tatopani-8 who had gone to the Patan area to collect herbs have gone out of contact. They could not be reached by phone. According to locals, they have currently taken shelter in Gagri and Aidi of Patan area. They are not able to return home due to the heavy snowfall.

The local government and District Administration Office Jumla have urged the Karnali provincial government to rescue the stranded locals. Chief Minister Jeevan Bahadur Shahi said that preparations were being made to send helicopters to rescue all those trapped in the snow. According to him, food items were sent in a helicopter immediately after news was received that some villagers were trapped in the snow.

At present, the Nepali Army does not have a big helicopter. He said a small helicopter was being sent. Chief Minister Shahi said, "Up to five feet of snow has been reported in the area. Helicopters are being sent to drop off food to them immediately as they might be starving at the moment.”

The helicopter will go directly to the area where the civilians are trapped in the snow. Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law, Nidhiraj Neupane said that the helicopter started flying along with a local. Surat Bahadur Shahi of Tatopani-8 is about to arrive in a helicopter with food items like beaten rice, noodles and other snacks for now. Patan area is a day's walk from Tatopani 8 Topla village. According to the locals, they were trapped in Gagri, Aidi, Khoti Salla and Dhwani area of Patan when they went to collect herbs.

They had gone to Patan in search of a herb named ‘Setak Chini’ (Moringa Oleifera). The locals Jaikura Shahi and Mun Bahadur Rawat of Tatopani-7 have died due to the cold. Chief District Officer of Jumla, Bijaya Kumari Prasai said that the rescue operation was started in coordination with the Tatopani Rural Municipality and the provincial government.

Chief Administrative Officer of Tatopani Village, Milan Budha Thapa said that food and protection materials were provided to the people trapped in the snow but it was impossible to reach there without a helicopter. "The key is to save them all together," he said. “Everyone seems to be involved in relief and rescue work. The local government is in a state of readiness.”

According to Chief Minister Shahi, the helicopter will not land at Jumla Khalanga. Preparations are underway to send it directly through Junichande Rural Municipality to Gagri Patan on the border of Jajarkot and Jumla. He said that the Karnali government was preparing for the rescue and relief of all those trapped in the snow. Locals of Topla village are worried after 55 people of the village went missing in the snow.

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