Relief and Rescue Efforts

The sequence of events in the Mandakini valley took everyone by surprise. No one, in one’s wildest dreams, could ever imagine, that a life saving divine lake, that sustained civilization for thousands of years would cause such a furry and devastation without giving any reaction time. None really got a chance of raising alarm of any sort. All communication with Kedarnath valley was snapped suddenly. Adverse weather conditions did not provide opportunity of resorting to alternative probes.

It was impossible for anyone by any means to venture into the Kedarnath valley beyond Gaurikund. Civil choppers hired by the State Government made brave efforts but did not succeed but the rescue work was taken up in other areas. Organised efforts by IAF and civil choppers hired by the State Government however were successful in reaching the Kedarnath valley on 18 June, 2013.

The seriousness of the situation was assessed early and both NDRF and Indian Air Force were requisitioned immediately. Three MI 17 helicopters of IAF in fact reported in the afternoon of 17 June, 2013. This decision of the State Government helped in safe and early evacuation of the stranded pilgrims and tourists. All available resources of the State Government were at the same time immediately deployed for relief and rescue work and assistance of Para – Military Forces and Indian Army was sought.

Total of 1,10,000 pilgrims and tourists were evacuated despite inhospitable terrain and weather conditions. Indian Air Force carried out 2,616 sorties and evacuated around 21,961 persons. 2,000 sorties were undertaken by civilian helicopters hired by the State Government to evacuate the stranded persons. 12,000 persons were thus evacuated by civilian choppers.

All the persons evacuated by air were brought to the nearest helipad from where road connectivity was available. All arrangements for safe evacuation of these persons from this point were taken care of by the State Government.


Till the time the persons were evacuated all care was taken by the State Government to cater to food, health and other requirements of the stranded persons.

More than 5,000 vehicles were arranged by the State Government and approximately 90,000 persons were evacuated by road. State Government made all arrangements for ensuring that the evacuated persons reach their respective destinations safely.

The State Government provided every evacuated person cash assistance of Rs. 2,000 so that they can take care of their routine requirements while in transit.

State Government has still pressed into service 10 civilian helicopters to ensure that there is no shortage of food and other essential supplies in the State.

313 Doctors along with 4,977 paramedics were deployed in the disaster affected area to provide medical facilities. Medical teams were also detailed for DNA sampling of the dead bodies in Kedarnath valley.

         Despite gigantic magnitude of the disaster the efforts of the State Government have ensured that there is no outbreak of any disease / epidemic in the State and the same has been confirmed by GoI team.

Apart from the regular supply of Civil Supplies Department more than 611 truck loads of relief material has already been sent to various disaster affected areas.

         313 doctors along with 4,977 paramedics have been deployed to provide medical facilities. Medical teams are doing DNA sampling of the dead bodies in Kedarnath valley. Despite gigantic magnitude of the disaster the efforts of the State Government have ensured that there is no outbreak of any disease / epidemic in the State and the same has been confirmed by GoI team.

         There is no shortage of food and other essential supplies anywhere in the State.