Braving piercing snow waves and extreme cold conditions, IAF's MI-17 choppers were back to business after operations remained suspended yesterday due to Republic Day.
"A fresh air rescue operation was launched by the Jammu-based IAF's 130 Helicopter Unit in Kishtwar district since early this morning despite poor visibility, blowing snow waves and minus 9 degrees Celsius (temperature)," defence spokesman, Jammu, S N Acharya said.
He added that till now, over 40 passengers have been airlifted and all of them are likely to be evacuated today.
The operations were launched on a request by the state government to ferry people stranded in highly snow-hit areas of Sonder, Dachin, Marwah and Nawapachin in the district since January 7.
The IAF had earlier rescued 2,188 passengers including 1,613 civilians between the two capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar on January 21.
Popularly known as CONDORS, the 130 Helicopter Unit had first launched a major air operation on January 9 to reach out to snow-trapped people with essential supplies and medicines.
The choppers carried out several sorties in Reasi, Gulabgarh, Ramban and other areas to ferry essential material as well as the snow-trapped people.
The unit emerged as a lifeline for disaster-prone areas of the Valley after the pivotal role played by it in rescuing as many as 588 people during the "Operation Rahat" launched after the devastating 2005 earthquake.