Avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh

On February 6, 2022, seven Indian army personnel were killed in an Avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh. These army personnel were a part of the patrol team. The Indian Army has launched “Search and Rescue” operations.

Avalanches

The Indian Army troops getting trapped in avalanches are not uncommon. Previously similar mishap occurred in May 2020. Two army personnel who belonged to the snow clearing troop died in an avalanche in Sikkim. In 2020, Indian Army lost six army personnel due to avalanches.

Siachen glacier

In 2019, six army personnel died due to avalanches in Siachen glacier. The Siachen glacier – Saltoro ridge, Ladakh and certain areas of China border are in forbidden terrains. Since 1984, thousand soldiers and 35 officers have lost their lives in Siachen glacier – Saltoro ridge.

Threats

Both Pakistan and China are modernizing their militaries. Recently, the threats have increased along the LOC and LAC. To counter this, Indian Army has increased the patrolling in the region, especially after Pangong Tso and abrogation of Article 370.

New Strategies adopted

The Indian Army has deployed large number of troops near China border. Such numbers were not deployed after 1962. Usually, the soldiers go for patrolling and come back to bases. This year, they are staying in trenches and overhead shelter. No human has stayed in these places so far.

Challenges

The major challenges faced by the Indian soldiers in these borders are limited road infrastructure, higher chances of injuries, shortage of drinking water, cold related ailments, avalanches, paucity of medical facilities. The temperatures in these region dip to -5 degrees Celsius. This increases the chances of hypothermia.

Acclimatization

Acclimatization is adaptation. The first and foremost challenge is drop of oxygen. The reduction level can be till 65%. In order to survive in these conditions, the army troops undergo three levels of training for 14 days. The first stage involves six days of training at 12,000 feet, four days of training in 15,000 feet and four days in altitudes above that.

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