Search operations continues amid fears that many Yatris are still trapped under debris

Staff Reporter / WEB DESK

The Amarnath Yatra has been temporarily suspended from Jammu and from both the tracks of Pahalgam and Baltal in view of the rescue operations at the holy cave shrine while the district administration of Jammu has requested the Yatris not to reach the Bhagwati Nagar base camp today and stay at thirty lodging centers set-up by the district administration in the city.

Flash flood triggered by a cloudburst near the holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnathji in the Himalayas of Kashmir had swept away many pilgrims killing at least 16. Search operations continues relentlessly amid fears that many Yatris are still trapped under the debris.

The annual Shri Amarnathji yatra, which began on June 30 this year after remaining suspended for two years due to covid, has been halted temporarily from both Baltal and Pahalgam base camps following the tragedy and a decision on its resumption will be taken after rescue operations get over. The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11, Shravan Purnima, the auspicious day of Rakhsha Bandhan festival.

Although Mountain rescue teams and lookout patrols with high-tech equipments with sniffer dogs have been deployed for the search and rescue operations and 15,000 stranded pilgrims were shifted to saffer locations on the Yatra routes and 28 injured rushed to hospitals and are being treated there, it is reported that about 40 people are still missing while a total of about 65 have been injured after the flash floods and landslides rummaged through tents and community kitchens near the holy cave shrine.

Over one lakh and ten thousand Yatris have already paid their obeisance to Lord Shiva at the holy cave shrine till Friday evening.

Army’s Northern Command said that six rescue teams, including choppers, have been deployed in the evacuation process.

Meanwhile, the Teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), SDRF Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), BSF, CRPF and the J&K police too are assisting in the rescue efforts and are working in full coordination in evacuating trapped Yatris to safer locations and rescuing people from the debris and all the injured are being taken care of at Army’s base hospital and SKIMS in Soura Srinagar.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha chaired a high level meeting yesterday to review the ongoing rescue, search and relief operations at the holy cave shrine. He has instructed that efforts should be made to clear the debris within the shortest possible time and has requested the Yatris to stay in Camps while administration is providing all facilities for their comfortable stay. He also visited SKIMS hospital in Srinagar and enquired about health of pilgrims who got injured in the unfortunate cloudburst incident. He met doctors treating the injured and impressed for all the possible treatment for their speedy recovery.