172 stranded foreigners evacuated from Himalayas
Rescue efforts continue after the Indian army rescued 172 foreigners stranded by flooding for a week in the remote, high-altitude trekking region of Ladakh in the Indian Himalayas.
Following torrential rain on 5 August, 185 people were killed in powerful landslides which hit the city of Leh in Ladakh and its surrounding areas.
Up to 2,000 foreigners were trekking in the region as the disaster struck according to tourism officials.
Indian army spokesman JS Brar said 162 tourists had huddled together in one particular village in one of the worst affected areas, while 10 more had sheltered in another village nearby whilst they waited for help.
"The Indian army reached them and evacuated them to safer areas where they have been given food, water and medical treatment as necessary," Brar told the AFP news agency
Among the confirmed dead so far are three French nationals, a Spaniard and an Italian. Other foreigners who died included 16 Nepali labourers and two Tibetan refugees.
Despite the devastation foreign tourists who had booked treks before the disaster are still arriving in Ladakh.
"Each flight to Leh brings in more foreigners and they immediately leave for trekking expeditions," said Farooq Shah, Head of Kashmir's tourism department.
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