At Least 16 Die In Amarnath Cloudburst Tragedy; Rescue Operation Is Still On

| Updated: 09 July, 2022 12:15 pm IST

SRINAGAR: At least 16 people had died while 65 people suffered injuries of various degrees 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.

The rescue operation was still underway as injured pilgrims were being airlifted to Srinagar hospitals.

GOC Chinar Corps Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Aujla visited the affected site and took stock of the situation. The army had used sniffer dogs as well as sophisticated machines to locate any possible survivors.

ALSO READ: Amarnath Yatra Resumes As Efforts To Trace 38 Missing Pilgrims Continue

Yatris also praised the security forces for their prompt reaction while the locals expressed concern about the death of the pilgrims.

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.

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