Srinagar: The Indian Army on Friday said as of now 13 people were dead and 48 others injured in the Amarnath cave cloudburst. Giving details, the Army said that 6 teams are involved in the rescue operation and two additional medical teams have been sent to the spot.Also Read – Cloudburst in Amarnath: 13 Dead, Nearly 50 Injured; Rescue Ops Continue | As It Happened
“As of now 13 dead and 48 injured. Over 6 teams are involved in the rescue operation. Two additional medical teams have been sent to the spot. Two Search and Rescue Dog Squads with one each from Pattan and Sharifabad being inducted by Air to Panjtarni and onwards to holy cave,” the Indian Army said in a statement. Also Read – Amarnath Yatra Resumes After Day’s Suspension Due To Bad Weather
Amarnath cave cloudburst | As of now 13 dead & 48 injured.6 teams are involved in the rescue operation. Two addt’l medical teams also sent. 2 Search & Rescue Dog Squads with one each from Pattan & Sharifabad being inducted by Air to Panjtarni & onward to holy cave: Indian Army
— ANI (@ANI) July 8, 2022
Amarnath yatra halted
On the other hand, as the situation in Amarnath yatra became critical after the cloudburst, the pilgrimage is suspended till the situation returns to normal, one official told news agency ANI.
“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. If the weather remains normal and makeshift arrangements are made, then the yatra can be resumed tomorrow,” ITBP spokesperson PRO Vivek Kumar Pandey said.
After the cloudburst incident was reported near the holy cave area of Amarnath which reportedly claimed 13 lives till now, Union Home minister Amit Shah took note of the situation and said saving the lives of people was on priority.
Cloudburst triggers largescale damage
The cloudburst that triggered flash floods has damaged 25 tents and three community kitchens, police and NDRF officials said. An official on the ground said about 30-35 people are missing while five have been rescued.
Giving details, NDRF Director General Atul Karwal told PTI that a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was based in the affected area even as two more teams from nearby locations of Barari Marg and Panchtarni have reached there.
According to the automatic weather station at the holy cave, the area received 31 mm rainfall from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The gushing waters hit the base camp outside the shrine, damaging 25 tents and three community kitchens where the pilgrims are served food, according to officials.
Political leaders express concern
President Ram Nath Kovind expressed concern and said he was distressed to know about the loss of lives in the cloudburst.
“My condolences to the bereaved families. Relief and rescue measures are in full swing to provide succour to those stranded. I pray and hope that the yatra be soon resumed,” Kovind tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the incident. “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,” he said in a tweet.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah directed central forces and Jammu and Kashmir administration to ensure swift rescue operations. Shah said in a Tweet in Hindi that he has spoken to J&K LG Manoj Sinha to take stock of the situation.
Helpline numbers launched
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set up four helpline numbers where people can get information about the cloudburst.
The 43-day Amarnath yatra began after a gap of three years. In 2019, the yatra was cancelled midway ahead of the Centre abrogating Article 370 provisions of the Constitution. The pilgrimage did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.