Amarnath cloudburst: 16 dead, yatra temporarily halted as toll rises

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According to news agency ANI, at least 16 people have perished in the Ganderbal area of Jammu and Kashmir’s flash flood that was caused by a cloudburst. Around 6 p.m. on Friday, a cloudburst struck a campground close to the Amarnath cave temple, killing many who were there. A portion of the camp washed away during the flash flood.

16 bodies have reportedly been transported to Baltal, according to a Border Security Force (BSF) spokesperson in Delhi.

Rescue efforts are in progress. To oversee the rescue efforts, IGP Kashmir and the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir arrived early on Saturday. A Mi-17 helicopter from the BSF’s air wing has been sent in addition to comparable Army resources.

A spokeswoman for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was quoted by news agency PTI as stating that at least 15,000 pilgrims who were trapped close to the Amarnath sacred cave had been relocated to the lower base camp of Panjtarni. “No yatri is left on the track,” the spokesperson added.

The Amarnath yatra is still on hold for the time being.

According to the ITBP PRO Vivek Kumar Pandey, about 30 to 40 persons are still missing.

Six pilgrims were evacuated this morning, and air rescue efforts were under way. According to PTI, an official stated on Saturday that the military medical personnel were receiving patients and casualties at the Nilagrar helipad for further evacuation.

Mountain rescue crews and lookout patrols are on the scene looking for missing people, according to an Army officer.

Nine people who had significant flood injuries were treated by doctors and medical personnel from the paramilitary force, according to a BSF spokesperson. They have been transported to Neelgrath base camp at a lower altitude, he said.

According to PTI, a small BSF detachment has also been stationed at the Neelgrath helipad to aid the pilgrims leaving the sacred cave. 15 patients were airlifted to Baltal on Saturday morning, according to the BSF spokeswoman, while approximately 150 yatris spent Friday night in the BSF camp established in Panjtarni.

On Friday, at least 25 tents were reportedly hit, according to officials. Along with the tents, three communal kitchens where food was being provided to pilgrims were also damaged, according to PTI.

According to Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) K Pandurang Pole, the camps’ electrical and communication systems are up and running. “The camp has space for about 3,000 individuals. Around six o’clock, when most pilgrims were either trekking or leaving for dinner, the event occurred, he added.

According to J&K Police, NDRF, and security personnel, rescue activities are being carried out, according to IGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sorrow over the deaths and assured those impacted that “all feasible support is being provided.” Modi claimed to have discussed the subject with J&K L-G Manoj Sinha. He tweeted, “Rescue and relief operations are in way.”

According to Sinha, rescue teams have been dispatched right away, and orders have been given to give the pilgrims “all required help.” PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, according to him, have “guaranteed all the help.”