In the ongoing Amarnath cloudburst development, the toll has risen to at least 16 dead people and dozens of people still reported missing. Meanwhile, over 15,000 people were rescued to safety after cloudburst triggered flashfloods which washed away a part of a camp. The cloudburst was reported from Ganderbal, Jammu & Kashmir. The victims in the matter had set a camp near the Amarnath shrine with the floods washing away the camp, and killing several.

Following the cloudburst, which occurred earlier on 6pm on Friday, rescue operations were kicked off to rescue the Amarnath pilgrims. According to Indo-Tibetan Border Police spokesperson, at least 15,000 pilgrims who were stuck near the Amarnath shrine, were taken to the Panjtarni base camp and efforts are in full swing to not let a single pilgrim behind on the track.

According to Border Security Force spokesperson, 9 persons were critically injured in the aftermath of the flashfloods, and were treated by doctors of the paramilitary force. The critically injured patients were evacuated to the Neelgrath base camp.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and shared, “Anguished by the cloud burst near Shree Amarnath cave. Condolences to the bereaved families. Spoke to @manojsinha_ Ji and took stock of the situation. Rescue and relief operations are underway. All possible assistance is being provided to the affected.”

The Facts of the Matter

As many as 15,000 pilgrims and tourists were evacuated to safety from Amarnath after a flashflood on Friday swept away scores of tents set up near the holy shrine. At least 16 people have been reported dead, with toll expected to rise as the rescue continues. Over 40 people are still missing with rescue efforts still underway.


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40 Still Missing: NDRF

Following the incident, National Disaster Response Force Director General Atul Karwal was quoted by ANI saying, “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.”


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The Calamity As it Struck

The cloudburst reported sometime around 6.30 pm reportedly caused flash floods which hit the camp set up at the Amarnath shrine. 25 tents were swept away and 3 community kitchens where pilgrims were provided with food were also hit. The cloudburst resulted in 31mm of rainfall in less than two hours.

Earlier on Saturday, the 10th batch of pilgrims with 6,159 people, were evacuated to the twin base camps of the Amarnath shrine. The pilgrims left from Jammu’s Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in a evacuation convoy of 249 vehicles.

Helicopters Deployed for Injured

The evacuation operation is a joint effort of Indian Army, multiple teams of NDRF, with personnel and teams from other paramilitary forces. The authorities also deployed helicopters into service for immediate and quick rescue.

The injured pilgrims were rushed to the IAF’s Mi-17 helicopters from the cave site to the military hospital at the Amarnath base for further treatment.


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PM Modi, President Kovind Reacts

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi expressed his anguish on Twitter, tweeting, “Anguished by the cloud burst near Shree Amarnath cave. Condolences to the bereaved families. Spoke to @manojsinha_Ji and took stock of the situation. Rescue and relief operations are underway. All possible assistance is being provided to the affected.”

President Kovind also expressed his concern and tweeted, “I am distressed to learn that a cloudburst near Amarnath shrine has claimed several lives. My condolences to the bereaved families. Relief and rescue measures are in full swing to provide succor to those stranded. I pray and hope that the yatra be soon resumed.”

Visuals from Amarnath Cloudburst Rescue Op

 

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