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Amarnath yatra temporarily suspended after over 12 die in cloudburst near shrine cave



Amarnath yatra temporarily suspended after over 12 die in cloudburst near shrine cave

The cloudburst was first reported at 5.30pm, with police saying some tents and langars coming under the same. Various teams of the NDRD, SDRF, and even Indian Army’s Norther Command are currently engaged in rescue operation.

The Amarnath yatra has been suspended till further notice following the cloudburst near the shrine cave earlier on Friday, news agency ANI quoted Vivek Kumar Pandey, the spokesperson of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) . The flash flood has so far claimed the lives of 16 persons and the toll is expected to go up as several are still missing.

“[The] situation is under control, rains are still going on…If the weather remains normal and makeshift arrangements are made, then the yatra can be resumed tomorrow,” Pandey was quoted as saying.

The cloudburst incident was initially reported at 5.30pm, with Kashmir Police chief ADG Vijay Kumar saying some langars and tents came under the flash flood. He added that the injured people are being airlifted for treatment.

The cloudburst occurred following heavy rain in the upper reaches of the Amarnath cave.

Various teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), state police and other associated agencies are still at the rescue operation at the flash flood site.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express grief over the loss of lives at the flash flood incident, and said that “all possible assistance” will be provided for the rescue operation and the injured persons.

Authorities in the Valley has released helpline numbers of the NDRF, Amarnath Shrine Board and the Kashmir division for better assistance in this scenario.

Indian Army personnel have also joined hands with relevant central agencies to speed up the rescue operation. Quoting the Northern Army Command, ANI reported that as many as six rescue teams have been deployed for the purpose. Helicopters and personnel of the Indian Air Force (IAF) have also been kept on standby for rescue operation.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) meanwhile has predicted heavy rainfall with thunderstorm and lightning over Jammu and Kashmir on July 10.

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