Amarnath tragedy: Efforts to find 40 pilgrims continue overnight, Yatra remains suspended

Rescue operations for the 40 missing people went on overnight after a cloudburst on Friday brought on a flash flood near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir. The resulting flood from the cloudburst killed at least 16 people and injured 105 more.

Ever since the incident was first reported, officials have rescued as many as 15,000 stranded pilgrims and shifted them to the lower base camp of Panjtarni. Search operations went on without a break on Saturday amid fears that many are still trapped under the debris.

Jammu and Kashmir’s Lt Governor Manoj Sinha chaired a meeting on Saturday with different agencies involved in Amarnath Yatra where it was decided that the yatra will remain suspended till rescue operations are over.

Here’s what we know so far about the tragedy:

1. The rescue operations were carried out by a joint effort of the Indian Army, the CRPF, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) along with teams of National Disaster Response Force, state disaster response force, and police.

2. Bodies of the 16 pilgrims who died after the cloudburst were shifted from the BSF Kashmir headquarter in Srinagar to Police headquarters.

3. The Indian Air Force (IAF) and BSF used ALH Dhruv and Mi-17 choppers to air lift injured persons and dead bodies. The IAF’s Mi-17V5 helicopters rescued 21 survivors and brought back six mortal remains.

4. Jammu and Kashmir’s Lt Governor Manoj Sinha visited a hospital to meet survivors of the tragedy. He also chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the rescue ops and assess the situation.

Among the decisions taken at the meeting were repair of the track section washed away by the flash floods and restoring utilities such as water and power supply, besides an aerial recce of water bodies, lakes etc, above the holy cave and Kalamata point.

5. National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said the government should order an inquiry to ascertain how tents and community kitchens were set up in a highly-vulnerable area close to the Amarnath cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas, which was hit by flash floods on Friday. “It is first time that tents were placed there. This can be a human error,” said Farooq Abdullah.

— ENDS —

Source link