Amarnath cloudburst update: 16 dead, 15,000 stranded pilgrims rescued
- A cloudburst occurred near the Amarnath holy cave in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, triggering a flash flood
- At least 16 people were confirmed dead
- 15,000 pilgrims, who were stranded near the caves, were shifted to the lower base camp of Panjtarni
A Border Security Force spokesperson in Delhi told PTI that "16 bodies have been shifted to Baltal."
Doctors and medical staff of the force treated nine patients who were critically injured in the floods.
"They have been shifted to lower altitude Neelgrath base camp," the spokesperson told the agency.
Meanwhile, about 15,000 pilgrims, who were stranded near the caves, were shifted to the lower base camp of Panjtarni.
"Most of the pilgrims, who were stranded near the holy cave shrine area due to the flash flood that occurred Friday evening, have been shifted to Panjtarni. The evacuation continued till 3.38 am. No pilgrim is left on the track. About 15,000 people have been safely shifted till now," the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) spokesperson said.
The pilgrimage that began on June 30 has been suspended following the incident and a decision on its resumption will be taken after rescue operations get over, a senior administration official had said.
Vivek Kumar Pandey, PRO, ITBP told Live Mint that the rescue operation has been intensified.
"Around 30-40 people are still missing. The weather is clear near Amarnath cave. The injured people have been brought to base using helicopters. Yatra is still on hold & we're advising people not to move ahead," he told the outlet.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration set up a helpline for the Amarnath Yatra. The Lt Governor administration and the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) gave out four telephone numbers where people can get information about the cloudburst.
"Helpline numbers for Amarnath Yatra: NDRF: 011-23438252 011-23438253 Kashmir Divisional Helpline: 0194-2496240 Shrine Board Helpline: 0194-2313149," the public relations department of the government and the SASB tweeted from their respective handles.
"Focus of administration is on rescue operation with NDRF, SDRF, JKP and other teams in action," the administration added.