Hours after 13 people were killed in a cloudburst near the lower reaches of the Amarnath cave on Friday, 8 July, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to offer his condolences to the bereaved families.
Stating that he had spoken to Jammu and Kashmir's Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the prime minister also said that all possible assistance would be provided to the affected.
"Anguished by the cloud burst near Shree Amarnath cave. Condolences to the bereaved families. Spoke to @manojsinha_ Ji and took stock of the situation. Rescue and relief operations are underway. All possible assistance is being provided to the affected," PM Modi tweeted.
The incident took place during the annual Amarnath Yatra at around 5:30 pm on Friday. Officials said that the cloudburst damaged 25 tents and three community kitchens.
Taking to Twitter, President Ram Nath Kovind said that he is distressed to learn about the cloudburst.
"My condolences to the bereaved families. Relief and rescue measures are in full swing to provide succour to those stranded. I pray and hope that the yatra be soon resumed," he tweeted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, meanwhile, said that he has spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and inquired about the situation.
"NDRF, CRPF, BSF, and local administration are engaged in the rescue work. Saving people's lives is our priority. I wish all the devotees well," Shah tweeted.
LG Sinha also took to Twitter to state that he is "deeply pained" by the "unfortunate" incident of cloudburst near Amarnath cave. Offering his condolences to the bereaved families, he said, "Rescue operation by NDRF, SDRF, BSF, Army, JKP & Shrine board admin is in progress."
Congress president Sonia Gandhi also extended her condolences to bereaved families, saying, "I was very distressed to learn about the tragic death of number of pilgrims on account of cloudburst near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in J&K," reported news agency ANI.
Dubbing the incident as "very sad," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed his condolences to the families who have lost their relatives to the cloudburst. He also wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
Five persons – three women and two men – were killed in the incident. The police, army, and ITBP personnel launched a rescue operation, the officials said, as reported by news agency PTI.
While one NDRF team was always deployed near the holy cave, one more team has been deployed and another is on its way, NDRF Director General Atul Karwal was quoted as saying by ANI.
A rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), and other associated agencies is underway, the Pahalgam Joint Police Control Room said, according to the report.
On Tuesday, the annual pilgrimage was temporarily suspended along the Pahalgam route owing to bad weather conditions. The movement of pilgrims towards the holy cave shrine was stopped at the Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)