Rescue Operations Underway as Heavy Snowfall Traps Over a Thousand Tourists in Leh-Manali

Heavy Snowfall Tourists in Leh-Manali

Manali: The picturesque towns of Leh and Manali are facing a severe weather crisis as unexpected heavy snowfall has left hundreds of tourists stranded. The snowfall, particularly intense around the Atal Tunnel Rohtang and its adjacent areas, has led to significant snow accumulation on the roads, causing increased slippage and immobilizing vehicles.

The local police have launched a large-scale rescue operation to evacuate the affected vehicles and tourists. As of the latest reports, over 1000 vehicles, carrying approximately 6000 tourists were trapped near the South Portal of the Atal Tunnel Rohtang (ATR). Thanks to the swift action of the rescue teams, around 600 vehicles with 3500 tourists have been safely rescued. Efforts are ongoing to assist the remaining vehicles and individuals.

Authorities have issued a travel advisory urging tourists to avoid unnecessary travel and to stay in safe locations until conditions improve. The Lahaul and Spiti Police have reported sliding incidents near the Sissu police post, rendering the roads impassable for all vehicle types near the popular Selfie Point, from Keylong to Manali. The police have emphasized that travel should only be attempted in emergencies.

In response to the emergency, the police have activated the district disaster control room and released contact numbers for assistance and road information. The control room can be reached at 9459461355, and updates on road conditions are available at 8988092298.

Heavy Snowfall Tourists in Leh-Manali

The Leh-Manali Highway, spanning 428 km, is one of the highest motorable roads globally. It is typically open for only a few months each year, with snowfall causing closures for 6 to 8 months. When open, it attracts tourists eager to experience its stunning landscapes and high-altitude passes, including Baralacha, Shinkula, and Tanglang La. The current situation serves as a reminder of the region’s vulnerability to extreme weather and the importance of safety in travel planning.