Highlights

  • Amarnath Yatra: death toll crossed 15; over 40 still missing
  • Around 15,000 people moved to safety at Panchtarni base camp
  • Army, CRPF, ITBP, NDRF, SDRF, IAF in rescue and relief operations

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Amarnath Yatra: death toll rises; 15,000 moved to safety by Army, CRPF, others; over 40 still missing

Many pilgrims stuck around the Amarnath cave shrine were moved to Panchtarni, the base camp for the Amarnath Yatra.

The Amarnath cave in Jammu & Kashmir continues to be a site of hectic activity a day after a cloudburst caused massive destruction. The death toll crossed 15, and more than 40 people remained missing by the afternoon of 9 July.

Amid incessant rainfall, frantic rescue operations continued at the Hindu shrine with the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police), NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), and SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) working round-the-clock.

Around 15,000 people had been moved to safety by July 9 afternoon. Many pilgrims stuck around the Amarnath cave shrine were moved to Panchtarni, the base camp for the Amarnath Yatra.

The IAF sent Mi-17 helicopters from Srinagar to aid rescue operations. The choppers had earlier been unable to take off due to bad weather.

ALSO WATCH: Amarnath Yatra: how, why cloudburst occurred over cave shrine; IMD's next warning

To look for survivors beneath debris, two through-wall radar, and two search & rescue dogs were also sent to the site via chopper.

The Amarnath Yatra has been suspended for now. Disaster struck at around 5:30 on 8 July when a "highly localised" cloud above the Amarnath cave released 31 mm of rain in just 2 hours.

The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of severe rainfall in the upper reaches.

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