Amarnath cloud burst death toll rises to 16, rescue operations on: Key developments | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The death toll in the flash flood triggered by a cloudburst near the Amarnath cave shrine rose to 16 on Saturday while 15,000 stranded pilgrims were shifted to the lower base camp of Panjtarni.
Searches for the missing people went on after flash floods and landslides rummaged through tents and community kitchens on Friday afternoon. Senior officials said while several injured people were shifted to hospitals, many are believed to be still trapped under the debris.
Rescue operations under way
An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) official on Saturday informed that rescue operation has been intensified in the Amarnath cloud burst incident.
The Indian Air Force has deployed 2 ALH Dhruv and Mi-17 V5 helicopters each from Srinagar for the rescue operations at the Amarnath cave site. One AN-32 and Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft are on standby in Chandigarh for further requirements, IAF officials informed on Saturday.
Chinar Corps Commander Lieutenant General ADS Aujla also visited the cloudburst-affected areas near the Amarnath cave on Saturday.
LG Manoj Sinha reviews rescue operations
After a cloudburst struck the holy shrine area of Amarnath on Friday, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing rescue and relief operations at Amarnath cave, informed the officials on Saturday.
A two-minute silence was also observed during the meeting to pay tribute to devotees who lost their lives in the incident.
“Rescue and relief operation is in full swing. Teams from Army, Air Force, CAPFs, and NDRF doing a commendable job to clear debris within the shortest time. Admin is providing all facilities. I request Yatris to stay put in camps. We’re trying our best to restore the Yatra at the earliest,” read an official release from the LG’s office.
35 pilgrims discharged after treatment
As many as 35 pilgrims were discharged following treatment, informed the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) officials on Saturday. “As many as 35 pilgrims have been discharged following treatment., and 17 people are being treated and are likely to get discharged tonight. All are safe,” officials said.
Critically injured patients airlifted to Srinagar
DG, CRPF, Kuldiep Singh, on Saturday said that critically injured people were airlifted to Srinagar. “Two people who got buried, but were alive, were rescued. We are taking all precautionary steps. As many as 41 people are missing, as per Jammu and Kashmir police, out of which some were rescued,” he said.
Survivors praise Army for efforts
Pligrims who were safely evacuated from Amarnath cave to Panjtarni, Sangam base, thanked the Army for its efforts.
“When the rains came the army helped us a lot. They send some people to Baltal and some to Panjtarni. They supported us a lot and moved people from the cave to safety,” one of the survivors told ANI.
“The way Jawans saved us. I salute them,” said an elderly woman.
J&K LG meets Amarnath survivors in hospital
Jammu and Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha on Saturday visited Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Srinagar to enquire about the health of pilgrims who were injured in yesterday’s incident of cloudburst in the lower reaches of Amarnath cave.
Fresh batch of pilgrims leaves for Baltal, Pahalgam camps
A fresh batch of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims left from the Jammu base camp for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps in Kashmir.
Earlier on Friday, the pilgrimage was suspended till the situation returns to normal, officials had informed.
Amarnath tragedy result of highly localised rain event: IMD
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday said that the deaths and destruction near the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir was due to a highly localised rain event.
According to weather scientists, the shrine reported 31 mm of rainfall between 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm on Friday. At least 13 people were killed and tents and community kitchens near the shrine were swamped with mud and rocks that came hurtling down with a gush of water after a spell of rain.
(With agency inputs)

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