Amarnath cloudburst

New Delhi: Around 15,000 pilgrims have been taken to safety from near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath after a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst swept away scores of people, killing at least 16.

 At least 40 people are still missing, officials said.

The rescue operations have been intensifed as at least 40 people are still missing, said an official.

The BSF’s MI 17 chopper has been pressed into action to air transport injured persons and bodies.

Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen ADS Aujla has reached the cloudburst-affected areas where the rescue operations are underway.

Most of the pilgrims who were stranded near the holy cave area on Friday evening have been shifted to Panchtarni, which serves as the base camp for Amarnath Yatra, ND TV reported.

A total of 21 injured pilgrims were airlifted to Baltal this morning.

The cloudburst, which was reported at around 5:30 pm, triggered flash floods that hit the base camp outside the shrine, damaging 25 tents and three community kitchens where the pilgrims are served food, according to officials. 

The area received 31 mm rainfall from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, according to the automatic weather station at the holy cave.

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