On 27 December 19, approximately 1500 to 1700 tourists got stranded due to heavy snowfall between 13th Mile to Natu La. These tourists, traveling in nearly 300 taxis, were returning from Nathu La Pass - Tsomgo Lake on Friday evening and got stranded midway at various points along Jawaharlal Nehru road as the motorable stretch was blocked by snow.
Seeing the helpless situation, the Indian Army immediately swung into action and initiated massive rescue operations despite poor visibility and inclement weather. The stranded tourists were provided relief including, food, shelter, warm clothing and medicines, to ensure their safety from weather and high altitude.
Approx 1500 tourists included women, children and elderly persons have been rescued and approx 570 were accommodated at Army Camp at 17th Mile. The Army has provided JCB and Dozers to clear the snow and restore road connectivity at the earliest.The evacuation process will continue till all stranded tourists are safely evacuated to the state capital Gangtok.