SRINAGAR: At least 10 pilgrims of the Amarnath Yatra died while more than four dozen were missing after a cloudburst hit the Baltal area in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.
The area, which falls in the Ganderbal district, houses a base camp for the pilgrims of the Amarnath Yatra.
At the time of filing the report, a massive rescue operation was underway as injured pilgrims were being airlifted to Srinagar hospitals.
The cloudburst happened around 5.30 pm and it triggered flash floods. Five people have been rescued while around 40 people are missing. More than two dozen tents and three langers reported having been washed away by the floods. “Ten pilgrims have died and their bodies have been recovered,” a senior NDRF official said.
“Cloudburst occurred at lower Amarnath Holy Cave at around 5.30 pm today. Rescue teams were rushed to the spot,” Aamir Ali, director of the Disaster Management Department, said. “Three langars have been washed away due to the heavy flow of water near the holy cave. There are four casualties so far while few people are missing,” Ali added.
Teams of police, NDRF and SDRF besides security forces have been pressed into the service, officials said. They said that a rescue operation has been launched. ITBP, CRPF, J&K Police, Army and others have been involved in the massive rescue operation, the officials said. A chopper was also pressed into the service to evacuate the injured persons.
“Some langars and tents have come under cloudburst/flash floods at HolyCave. 02 deaths were reported. Rescue operation by Police, NDRF & SFs in progress. Injured being airlifted for treatment. Situation under control,” IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said in a tweet.