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Amarnath yatra flood updates | July 9, 2022

Indian army soldiers carry an injured of flash floods near Amarnath cave for treatment, at Baltal, 105 kilometers northeast of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on July 09 2022.

Indian army soldiers carry an injured of flash floods near Amarnath cave for treatment, at Baltal, 105 kilometers northeast of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on July 09 2022. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

At least 16 people, mainly Amarnath pilgrims, have died and dozens went missing after flash floods caused landslips near the Baltal base camp in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal area on Friday.

So far, 15 bodies have been retrieved and 35 injured have been airlifted for medical attention and are stable, Inspector General of Kashmir Police Vijay Kumar said.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday set up a helpline for the Amarnath Yatra, which has been suspended after a cloudburst near the holy cave left 10 persons dead and scores of others missing.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the deaths and destruction near the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir were due to a highly localised rain event and not due to a cloudburst.

According to weather scientists, the shrine reported 31 mm of rainfall between 4.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. on Friday, which is quite low to be categorised as a cloudburst.

Many political leaders across the spectrum have expressed distress about the cloudburst near the Amarnath shrine.

Here are the latest updates

7.48 p.m.

Undeterred by Baltal tragedy, Amarnath pilgrims continue to throng Jammu in hordes

Baltal Base Camp Amarnath Yatra 2022: Pilgrims purchase raincoats and other protective gear from the Baltal Base Camp before proceeding to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, in Baltal.

Baltal Base Camp Amarnath Yatra 2022: Pilgrims purchase raincoats and other protective gear from the Baltal Base Camp before proceeding to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, in Baltal. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Undeterred by the deadly flash floods that have claimed at least 16 lives at Baltal, devotees thronged the Amarnath Yatra base camp in Jammu on Saturday with a “high degree of enthusiasm and devotion” for their onward journey to the cave shrine situated at a height of 3,880 metres in the south Kashmir Himalayas.

Expressing grief over the tragedy that occurred on Friday, the pilgrims said they have no fear as they have full faith in Lord Shiva, adding that it would be a great privilege for them if they die in the abode of the god. - PTI

7.44 p.m.

Maharashtra: 2 from Pune die during Amarnath yatra; NCP leader claims one of them killed in landslide

A man and a woman from Pune in Maharashtra died during the Amarnath pilgrimage, district officials said on Saturday and added that no pilgrim from the city is missing in the flash flood tragedy as of now.

While the cause of the death of one of the deceased, Pradip Kharade, is identified as cardiac arrest, officials are not sure about the cause of the death of Sunita Bhosale. - PTI

7.24 p.m.

Chhattisgarh government appoints nodal officer for helping Amarnath pilgrims from state

The Chhattisgarh government on Saturday appointed Ganesh Mishra, Resident Commissioner at the Chhattisgarh Bhawan in Delhi, as its nodal officer for helping the pilgrims from the state stranded during the Amarnath Yatra.

Mishra can be contacted on helpline number 011-46156000 and his mobile number 9997060999, an official release said here. - PTI

6.48 p.m.

Several Amarnath devotees return home without paying obeisance

‘So near yet so far’ for several devotees who were waiting for their turn to pay obeisance at the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, when the cloudburst swept away everything that came in its way. The devotees had to return without having the glimpse of the naturally formed ice-lingam in south Kashmir Himalayas.

The pilgrims had made their way to the base camp established outside the holy cave and were waiting for their turn to have darshan at the evening Aarti (prayer) when the cloudburst struck on Friday at around 5.30 pm.

5.23 p.m.

Three from Rajasthan among pilgrims killed in Amarnath flash flood

At least three pilgrims from Rajasthan were among those killed in a flash flood near the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, an official said on Saturday.

The deceased have been identified as Mohanlal, Sunita Wadhwa and Sushil Khatri, all from the Sri Ganganagar district, a Disaster Management and Relief Department official said. - PTI

4.46 p.m.

Karnataka CM Bommai says no report of Kannadigas affected so far

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday said there has been no report of any untoward incidents related to Kannadigas so far, following the flash flood triggered by a cloudburst near the cave shrine of Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir where the death toll has risen to 16.

He said the Karnataka government has taken steps to rescue people from the State stranded in Amarnath. - PTI

4.35 p.m.

Farooq Abdullah calls for probe into Amarnath tragedy

Former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) president Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Saturday demanded a probe into the Amarnath tragedy and questioned the decision to allow tents and langars (community kitchens) “at a dangerous area”.

“The area where the cloudburst occurred is very dangerous. Tents and langars should not have been set up there. It is for the first time (they were erected). They used to be set up at Panjtarni,” Dr. Abdullah said.

2.36 p.m.

15 bodies recovered so far

So far, 15 bodies have been retrieved and 35 injured have been airlifted for medical attention and are stable, Inspector General of Kashmir Police Vijay Kumar said. Efforts were on to clear the debris and retrieve the bodies, if any by evening, he added. - Peerzada Ashiq

1.55 p.m.

Army engages high-tech equipment to rescue Amarnath pilgrims

In one of the major peacetime rescue operations, the Indian Army has deployed men and machinery including latest equipment to rescue the Amarnath pilgrims who were injured in the flash flood triggered by heavy rain, an Army official said in Srinagar on Saturday.

The rescue team rushed to the site as soon as they got the information about casualties in the flash floods that occurred on Friday evening, the official said.

He said an infantry battalion led by a Colonel along with Quick Reaction Teams, an additional company of personnel from the Rashtriya Rifles Sector and a team from special forces reached the holy cave along with specialised rescue equipment to undertake the operation.

“Through the night, the senior Army officers of the infantry battalion and Rashtriya Rifles oversaw and coordinated rescue operations from the cave and Nilgrar. Medical resources at the cave and at Nilgrar were activated and additional resources deployed,” the official said.

He said nine surveillance detachments with hand-held thermal imagers, night vision devices and other gadgets were deployed for the search operations. - PTI

1.35 p.m.

Over 6,000 pilgrims leave Jammu for Amarnath base camps

The 11th batch of over 6,000 Amarnath pilgrims left the Jammu city on Saturday for the twin base camps in Kashmir even as the annual pilgrimage to the cave shine in south Kashmir was halted because of the flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall that killed at least 16 people.

The 43-day Yatra began on June 30 from the twin routes -- the traditional 48-km from Nunwan in Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, and the 14-km shorter but steep Baltal route in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir.

However, the pilgrimage has been suspended after the flash flood near the cave shrine on Friday evening swept away scores of people, swamping tents and community kitchens with mud and rocks hurtling down a hillside. - PTI

12.46 p.m.

Amarnath flash floods may be due to highly localised rain event, not cloudburst, says IMD

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday said the deaths and destruction near the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir were due to a highly localised rain event and not due to a cloudburst.

According to weather scientists, the shrine reported 31 mm of rainfall between 4.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. on Friday, which is quite low to be categorised as a cloudburst.

“The flash floods could have been triggered due to rainfall in the higher reaches of the mountains near the Amarnath cave shrine,” IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told PTI.

According to the IMD, a rain event is categorised as a cloudburst if a weather station receives 100 mm of rain in one hour. - PTI

12.30 p.m.

250 Amarnath pilgrims from Karnataka in J&K

As many as 250 Amarnath pilgrims from Karnataka are believed to be in Jammu and Kashmir, where at least 16 people have died and dozens are missing after flash floods caused landslips near the Baltal base camp.

The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre (KSNDMC) said a 24/7 centralised call centre has been set up at the State Emergency War Room Karnataka for reaching out to relatives of the stranded and updating the latest measures undertaken for safe return of the strandees.

12.07 p.m.

Bodies of deceased reach Srinagar

First sortie of BSF MI-17 reached Srinagar from Neelgrah in Baltal carrying mortal remains of deceased pilgrims who lost their lives in a cloudburst. Mortal remains of pilgrims will be sent to their respective native places by J&K administration, the BSF said. - Peerzada Ashiq

12.03 p.m.

Death toll in Amarnath cloudburst rises to 16; 15,000 stranded pilgrims evacuated

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, officials said on Saturday.

Searches for the missing people continued without break after flash flood and landslides rummaged through tents and community kitchens on Friday afternoon. Senior officials said 25 injured people have been shifted to hospitals while many people are believed to be still trapped under the debris.

According to an Army official, mountain rescue teams and lookout patrols and sniffer dogs have been pressed into the search and rescue operation. - PTI

10:15 a.m.

Amarnath Yatra information to general public

9:35 a.m.

Telangana BJP MLA Raja Singh, family escape cloudburst at Amaranath cave

Telangana BJP MLA T. Raja Singh had a miraculous escape from the flash flood triggered by a cloudburst near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir, which left 13 dead.

Mr. Raja Singh and his family members who reached Amarnath by a chopper decided to use ponies to descend the hills before as the weather condition began deteriorating. -PTI

9:29 a.m.

Death toll touches 15

In spite of inclement weather and fresh rains, rescue operations were augmented by helicopter services and dog squads on Saturday morning near the Amarnath cave shrine, where the death toll due to flash floods has risen to 15 and scores remain missing.

Sources said two military helicopters, carrying rescue equipment and dog squads, managed to land near the cave shrine between 6:45 am and 7:15 am.

Preliminary reports suggested that among 15 casualties, seven were women pilgrims. Around 60 people were in the area where flash floods hit tents, community kitchens and kiosks on Friday afternoon, officials said. Six rescued pilgrims were being treated at an Army medical camp at Nilagrar helipad.

9:17 a.m.

ITBP says 15,000 stranded pilgrims evacuated

At least 15,000 pilgrims, who were stranded near the Amarnath holy cave in Jammu and Kashmir due to a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst, have been shifted to the lower base camp of Panjtarni, an ITBP spokesperson said on Saturday.

The border guarding force has also expanded its route opening and protection parties from the lower part of the holy cave up to Panjtarni, he said. -PTI

9:15 a.m.

Rescue ops near Amarnath cave shrine continue overnight

Six pilgrims were evacuated by Army helicopters on Saturday as rescue operations continued through the night near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath after a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst swept away scores of people, killing at least 13, officials said. -PTI

June 8

Amarnath tragedy result of highly localised rain event: IMD

The India Meteorological Department 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. -PTI

June 8

Distressed to learn about cloudburst near Amarnath shrine: President Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said he was distressed to know that a cloudburst near the Amarnath shrine in Jammu and Kashmir has claimed several lives, and offered condolences to the bereaved families.

He said relief and rescue measures were in full swing to provide succour to those stranded and hoped that the “yatra be soon resumed”.

June 8

Spoke with J-K LG, all assistance being provided: PM Modi on cloudburst near Amarnath cave

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke with Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on the cloudburst near the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas and said all possible assistance is being provided to the affected.

At least 10 people were killed in the cloudburst Friday evening, damaging 25 tents and three community kitchens, officials said. The cloudburst struck around 5.30 pm amid heavy rainfall, they said. -PTI


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Printable version | Sep 9, 2022 8:30:34 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/amarnath-news-yatra-floods-live-updates-june-9-2022/article65619040.ece