At least 13 people were killed in a cloudburst near the lower reaches of the Amarnath cave during the annual Amarnath Yatra at around 5:30 pm on Friday, 8 July. Officials said that the cloudburst damaged 25 tents and three community kitchens. At least 40 people are still missing after the cloudburst.
News agency ANI quoted NDRF Director General Atul Karwal as saying that while one NDRF team was always deployed near the holy cave, one more team has been deployed and another is on its way.
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.
Amarnath: Water flows through a campsite following a cloudburst that hit near the base camp of the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas on Friday, 8 July.
PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah Speak To J&K LG Manoj Sinha
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences to the families of the bereaved, and added that he "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 added.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also took to Twitter and said that he spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha about the cloudburst at Amarnath cave.
"NDRF, SDRF, BSF & local admin are doing the rescue work. Our priority is to save the lives of people, he said.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha took to Twitter to say that a rescue operation by the NDRF, SDRF, BSF, Army, J&K Police, and the Shrine board administration is underway.
"Our priority is to save the lives of people. Instructions have been issued to provide all necessary assistance to pilgrims," Sinha added.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh also said that he was "in constant touch with the UT administration."
"The SDRF and NDRF teams have promptly swung into action to provide all possible relief and assistance," he tweeted.
Earlier, on Tuesday morning, the sixth batch – comprising 6,351 pilgrims – left for the 3,880-metre-high Amarnath cave shrine, officials said.
The Amarnath Yatra 2022 commenced on 30 June from the twin base camps – Nunwan in Pahalgam of south Kashmir's Anantnag and Baltal camp in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district.
The 43-day pilgrimage, which was halted in 2019 and 2020 due to COVID-19, is scheduled to conclude on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, on 11 August.
(With inputs from ANI.)