15,000 Rescued, 40 Still Missing After Amarnath Cloudburst: 10 Facts

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set up four helpline numbers where people can get information about the incident.

The 43-day Amarnath yatra began after a gap of three years on June 30.

New Delhi: About 15,000 pilgrims have been moved to safety from near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath after a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst swept away scores of people, killing at least 16. More than 40 people are still missing, officials said.

Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:

  1. Most of the pilgrims who were stranded near the holy cave area last evening have been shifted to Panchtarni, which serves as the base camp for Amarnath Yatra. Twenty-one injured pilgrims were airlifted to Baltal this morning.

  2. "Sixteen people have been confirmed dead. About 40 still seem to be missing. No landslide have been reported, but there is continuous rain continues, though it is not hampering rescue work. Four NDRF teams with over 100 rescuers in rescue work. Besides, Indian Army, SDRF, CRPF and others continue to rescue," NDRF Director General Atul Karwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

  3. Chinar Corps Commander, Lt Gen ADS Aujla, has reached the cloudburst-affected areas to take stock of the situation. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir are also supervising the rescue operations.

  4. Pilgrims who were safely evacuated from the affected areas have narrated harrowing accounts of the cloudburst-triggered floods swamping tents and community kitchens with mud and large rocks. Some of the pandals that were two kilometres away from the cloudburst site were also affected, they said.

  5. "Within 10 minutes of the cloudburst, eight casualties were reported. The water carried a large number of stones with it. There were approximately 15,000 pilgrims who came for the pilgrims. The pilgrims continued to come despite heavy rains," a pilgrim said.

  6. Deepak Chouhan, a pilgrim from Uttar Pradesh's Hardoi told ANI, "A stampede-like situation happened there, but Army supported a lot. Many pandals were washed away due to the water."

  7. "Situation is under control, rains are still going on. Looking at the hazard level, the Amarnath Yatra has been halted temporarily due to the area being inundated," said ITBP spokesperson PRO Vivek Kumar Pandey.

  8. The cloudburst, which was reported at around 5:30 pm, triggered flash floods that hit the base camp outside the shrine, damaging 25 tents and three community kitchens where the pilgrims are served food, according to officials. The area received 31 mm rainfall from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, according to the automatic weather station at the holy cave.

  9. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed anguish over the loss of lives. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has directed the central forces and Jammu and Kashmir administration to ensure swift rescue and relief. The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set up four helpline numbers where people can get information about the incident.

  10. The 43-day Amarnath yatra began after a gap of three years on June 30. In 2019, the yatra was cancelled midway ahead of the Centre scrapping Article 370 provisions of the Constitution. The pilgrimage did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.



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