With weather conditions getting harsh and unpleasant, the Amarnath Yatra from Jammu has been suspended. The poor weather conditions prevented any new batch from travelling from Jammu to the base camps of the 3,880-meter-high cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas.
At least 16 people were killed and more than 40 people are missing due to the cloudburst near the cave shrine on Friday. Indian Army is working round the clock to speed up the process of rescue operations. Sniffer dogs, high-tech equipment, drones, and helicopters have been deployed into service for the rescue operation in the mountains.
The cloudburst which was reported at 5:30 pm stirred flash floods in the region. Around 25 tents, three community kitchens where pilgrims are served food, and base camps outside the shrine were damaged due to the cloudburst. Many pandals were washed away too due to the water. One of the pilgrims said, eight fatalities were reported within 10 minutes of the cloudburst.
According to the reports, a total of 69,535 people have left in 10 batches from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu for the Valley since June 29. As per the officials over 1,00,000 pilgrims had worshipped at the cave temple where the ice shivling had grown naturally.
The 43-day annual pilgrimage began on June 30 from the twin base camps in the Kashmiri cities of Nunwan-Pahalgam in Anantnag, in the south, and Baltal, in Ganderbal, in the center. The yatra which started on June 30, is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
After the tragic incident, Jammu and Kashmir government set up four helpline numbers for Amarnath Yatra. Those are:
NDRF: 011-23438252 011-23438253
Kashmir Divisional Helpline: 0194-2496240
Shrine Board Helpline: 0194-2313149