Security personnel during rescue operations after a cloudburst hit the Baltal area, which houses a base camp for the Amarnath pilgrimage, in Ganderbal district of Jammu & Kashmir, on Friday, July 8, 2022.
Security personnel during rescue operations after a cloudburst hit the Baltal area, which houses a base camp for the Amarnath pilgrimage, in Ganderbal district of Jammu & Kashmir, on Friday, July 8, 2022. Nisar Malik /IANS

Amarnath Yatra temporarily suspended after 15 killed in cloudburst

Srinagar, July 9, 2022

Rescue operations were resumed at the Amarnath cave shrine on Saturday where 15 people were killed and over 40 injured in a cloudburst Friday evening.

Authorities have temporarily suspended the Yatra from both Baltal and Pahalgam base camps.

Teams of NDRF, SDRF, BSF, CRPF, Army, police and ITBP resumed rescue operations with the first light on Saturday morning, officials said.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Ganderbal district, Afroza Shah has told reporters that 15 people have died and over 40 injured in Friday's flash flood triggered by the cloudburst. She said five people were rescued alive from the debris of the flash flood.

Efforts to ascertain the exact number of casualties, injuries and missing persons are still going on.

Reports from the disaster site said 25 to 30 tents of the pilgrims and five "Langars" (Community Kitchens) were washed away in the high-speed muddy slush triggered by the cloudburst that occurred around 5.30 p.m. Friday.

The Army has pressed helicopters into service to assist the civil administration in relief and rescue operations. Army said that the rescue operations by security forces continued throughout the night.

The meteorology department has forecast that another cloud is moving towards the Baltal-Holy cave route which is likely to cause light to moderate rainfall.

"Flash flood/shooting stone may occur at vulnerable places. Please remain alert," the forecast said.

IANS

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