Floods in India leave Israelis stranded

Some backpackers caught in high-mountain passes

Floods wash away bus in northern India (photo credit: REUTERS)
Floods wash away bus in northern India
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dozens of Israelis are stranded and in need of help after three days of intense storms in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh have made it impossible to travel.
The area near the resort town of Manali, which is a popular tourist destination site, became dangerous after roads were flooded and travelers found themselves stranded without electricity or means of communication.
The Harel Insurance Company hired a helicopter to airlift an Israeli couple who suffered from altitude sickness. The rescue was arranged by the Israeli Consulate in Delhi, however, one Israeli woman is known to be out of reach of the rescue teams.
A group of Israeli backpackers is currently staying in a roadhouse with other tourists, but rescue teams are unable to contact them. The Israelis were able to deliver a letter a few days ago and an operation to airlift them with a helicopter is reportedly underway.
The town of Kaza currently hosts 20 Israelis who have asked to be airlifted. They have been asked to wait a few days, as they are in good health and more urgent cases require immediate help. Three Israelis are still unaccounted for and the search for them is ongoing.
The chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur, conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas on Tuesday, mapping out blocked roads and people who were stranded. He estimated that between 300 and 350 people were trapped in the Baralacha high-mountain pass.
The Indian Air Force rescued two Germans on Tuesday and five Danish and Norwegian tourists on Wednesday.
Local media reported around 500 people, including tourists, were trapped in the region.
Eight people have died in Himachal Pradesh due to the weather, media reports said.
Reuters contributed to this report.


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