Pilgrims leave baltal base camp despite bad weather

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Srinagar, Aug 3 (UNI) Undeterred by last night's strong winds and shooting of stones, which has damaged more than 50 tents near the Amarnath cave shrine, more than 400 pilgrims left Baltal base camp this morning.

However, information about the pilgrims who left Nunwan-Pahalgam base camp was not available as the yatra officials were not available.

A yatra official at Baltal base camp told UNI over phone that 408 yatris left to cave shrine through this shortest route today following improvement in the weather.

Last night strong winds followed by heavy rains, triggered shooting stones near the cave shrine, forcing authorities to shift more than 500 security personnel, yatris and langer wallas after their tents were damaged.

However, officials said all the pilgrims are safe and there was no report of any loss of life or injury to anyone.

They said more than 50 tents were damaged in strong wind storm.

The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, has directed the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to proceed towards the cave shrine and help the administration in putting the tents again there.

Majority tents were put again in the area as there was no other place in the vicinity, official sources said.

He has also directed the NDRF to provide other assistance to administration for smooth conduct of the pilgrimage, which will come to an end on Rakshabandan Day.

Besides tents, cooked food and other eatables were lost after tents were washed away, the sources said.

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