The pilgrimage to the cave shrine is being held after a gap of three years. In 2019, the pilgrimage 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.
At least 16 people have been killed due to a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst near the Amarnath cave shrine. The Indian Air Force has deployed eight helicopters as part of the rescue and relief operations. (Photos: PTI)
Rescuers were clearing the debris to look for survivors as the administration was cross-checking the data of pilgrims to get the exact number of casualties. Every pilgrim had been provided with a Radio Frequency Identification card this time because of terror threats, a PTI report said.
Drones and helicopters were pressed into service and mountain rescue teams and lookout patrols with high-tech equipment and sniffer dogs deployed as operations to look for survivors continued.
Army personnel offer food to pilgrims after the destruction. The IMD said the destruction was due to a highly localised rain event. The shrine reported 31 mm of rainfall between 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm on Friday, which is quite low to be categorised as a cloudburst.
A sadhu at Ram Mandir base camp in Jammu blows a conch in memory of those who lost their lives in Friday's flash floods near the Amarnath cave shrine.
Rescue operations by NDRF, SDRF, Army and other security agencies are still going on in Amarnath after the improvement in the weather as 40 people are still missing. The ITBP has expanded its route opening and protection parties from the lower part of the holy cave up to Panjtarni.
15,000 pilgrims 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.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visits SKIMS hospital to enquire about the health of injured pilgrims. He chaired a high-level meeting on Saturday to review the ongoing rescue and relief operation.
The J&K administration was trying to restore the yatra at the earliest and the Lieutenant Governor requested yatris to stay put in the camps. The pilgrimage that began on June 30 after a gap of three years has been suspended following the tragedy and a decision on its resumption will be taken after rescue operations get over.