13 killed in cloudburst near Amarnath shrine
Srinagar: At least 13 persons were killed when a cloudburst near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas triggered flash floods Friday evening that also damaged 25 tents and three community kitchens, police officials said.
Several people have been rescued, they said.
The cloudburst struck around 5.30 pm amid heavy rainfall, they said.
The gushing waters hit the base camp outside the shrine, damaging 25 tents and three community kitchens where the pilgrims are served food, they said.
Thirteen persons were killed in the incident even as police, army and NDRF personnel launched a rescue operation, the officials said.
An NDRF team was already there while two more teams are being rushed, they added.
Chief Medical Officer (CM) Ganderbal, Dr Afroza Shah said that although the exact number of casualties is not known yet, the figures so far received said that 13 persons have died in the cloudburst.
She also said that more than 40 persons have got injured including two with head injuries in the incident.
“The rescue operation is still going on,” she said, adding that the injured are being given first aid and the persons with head injury are being airlifted for specialized treatment.
CMO Ganderbal further stated the base hospital has been kept in a ready mode where critical care specialists and paramedical staff is deployed. “At least 28 doctors and 98 paramedical staff are at the base hospital to tackle the emergency situation,” she said, adding that 16 ambulances have been kept in a ready mode, but said that no evacuation has been received yet.
“All the injured as per the reports received are stable,” she said and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Moreover, Kashmir Zone Police in a tweet quoting Inspector General of Police (IGP) confirmed the death of eight persons and said that the injured persons are being airlifted for treatment while the situation is under control.
“Cloud burst at Holy Cave Update: Six more deaths reported (Total 08 deaths so far). Injured persons airlifted for treatment. Rescue operation still going on,” police tweeted.
In another Tweet police said: “Some langars and tents have come under cloud burst/flash floods at #HolyCave. 02 deaths reported. #Rescue operation by Police, NDRF & SFs in progress. Injured being airlifted for treatment. #Situation under #control. IGP Kashmir,” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.
Soon after the incident took place, a massive rescue operation was launched while chopper was also pressed into service to evacuate the injured persons.
The officials said that three langers got washed away due to heavy flow of water near the holy cave. They said a few persons are reportedly missing after the incident occurred at around 05:30 PM.
They said that the rescue operation has been launched, adding that ITBP, CRPF, J&K Police, Army and others have been involved in the massive rescue operation. (with inputs from PTI, KNO)