Monday, August 8, 2022

Amarnath Yatra paused due to heavy rain shortly after resumption

Due to heavy rain at Panjtarni and near the holy cave, the Amarnath Yatra was suspended again shortly after its resumption on Monday. At 5 a.m. on Monday, a new group of pilgrims set out for the Kashmir valley from Jammu’s Bhagwati Nagar base camp.

The yatra resumed following a cloudburst that caused flash floods near the cave on Friday, killing at least 16 people and leaving around 40 people missing.

Avny Lavasa, Deputy Commissioner Jammu, had directed all Yatris registered on or before July 11 to report to the Bhagwati Nagar base camp.

According to government sources, the local administration wants to restart the Amarnath Yatra by Monday or Tuesday. “There should be no unnecessary obstacles for people who have already booked for the trip,” the sources said, adding that officials were also confident in the road conditions to restart the Yatra.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited the Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam on Sunday to oversee efforts to restart the Amarnath yatra. According to an official spokesperson, Sinha will camp overnight at Nunwan to oversee rescue and relief operations, and efforts will be made to resume the yatra as soon as possible. According to the official, Sinha also interacted with yatris staying there and reviewed arrangements at healthcare facilities and ‘langars.’

Meanwhile, despite last-ditch efforts to find any survivors, rescuers said hopes of finding those missing in the Amarnath flash floods alive are fading by the hour.

“Rescue efforts are ongoing, with personnel from various agencies clearing the debris in the hope of finding any survivors.” “According to a State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) official. “We’re still hopeful, but anyone alive under that debris is a miracle.” “the official continued. In addition to sniffer dogs, rescuers are using hand-held thermal imagers and other sophisticated devices to look for any sign of life beneath the debris mounds.

According to reports, the Army has also pressed heavy machinery into service to restore the track to the holy cave shrine.

The exact moment the flashflood hit the camp site where hundreds of devotees were staying during their onward journey was shown in dramatic visuals. Water is seen rushing towards the tents in one video, and people are seen trying to flee amid shouts and cries for help.

On Saturday, a day after the tragedy, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha presided over a high-level meeting to review the ongoing rescue and relief efforts.

On June 30, the annual 43-day pilgrimage began from the twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.

According to reports, over one lakh pilgrims have offered prayers at the cave shrine that houses the naturally formed ice’shivling.’ Since June 29, when the first batch of pilgrims was flagged off by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, 69,535 pilgrims have left in 10 batches from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu for the Valley.

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