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Amarnath cloudburst: What we know so far

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New Delhi, July 8: At least 15 persons were killed when a cloudburst near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas triggered flash floods on Friday evening, police officials said.

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What we know, so far?

  • Over 40 people are injured. Three persons have been rescued, officials said. The cloudburst struck around 5.30 pm amid heavy rainfall. 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.
  • Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir cancelled all leaves of the staff (Regular/Contractual) and directed them to report to duties immediately. All the officers have been directed to keep their mobiles switched on.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the incident. "Anguished by the cloud burst near Shree Amarnath cave. Condolences to the bereaved families. Spoke to @manojsinha_ Ji and took stock of the situation. Rescue and relief operations are underway. All possible assistance is being provided to the affected."
    • Union Home Minister Amit Shah directed central forces and Jammu and Kashmir administration to ensure swift rescue operations. Shah said in a Tweet in Hindi that he has spoken to J&K LG Manoj Sinha to take stock of the situation. "NDRF, CRPF, BSF and local administration are engaged in the rescue work. Saving people's lives is our priority. I wish all the devotees well," the minister said.
    • The India Meteorological Department said that the deaths and destruction near the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir was due to a highly localised rain event. According to weather scientists, the shrine reported 31 mm of rainfall between 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm on Friday.
    • Indian Air Force assets including helicopters and personnel on standby to launch rescue and relief operations at the Amarnath cave site.
    • Rescue operations are being carried out in cloudburst affected area at the lower Amarnath Cave site. A total of 10 Army rescue teams with Army Dogs continue rescue operations.
    • NDRF: 011-23438252, 011-23438253
      Kashmir Divisional Helpline: 0194-2496240
      Shrine Board Helpline: 0194-2313149
    • As the situation in Amarnath yatra became critical after a cloudburst, the pilgrimage is suspended till the situation returns to normal, informed the officials on Friday.

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