world
Saturday Jul 09 2022
By
Reuters

At least 16 dead, dozens missing after flash flood in IIoJK

By
Reuters
A helicopter arrives carrying injured people for treatment following a cloudburst near the holy Amarnath cave shrine, at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Srinagar, on July 9, 2022. — Reuters
A helicopter arrives carrying injured people for treatment following a cloudburst near the holy Amarnath cave shrine, at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Srinagar, on July 9, 2022. — Reuters

  • Rescue operations are underway in IIoJK, officials say.
  • More than two dozen people have been reported missing.
  • Authorities suspended Hindu pilgrimage till further notice.


SRINAGAR: At least 16 people have been killed after sudden rains triggered flash floods during an annual Hindu pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath in Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir(IIoJK), a government official said on Saturday.

More than two dozen people have been reported missing and rescue operations are underway.

"Both army and civilian helicopters are carrying out relentless sorties to evacuate the injured and the dead,” an Indian defence ministry spokesman said in Srinagar.

Authorities have suspended the pilgrimage till further notice.

An injured is rushed for treatment after he was evacuated in a helicopter following a cloudburst near the holy Amarnath cave shrine, at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Srinagar on July 9, 2022. — Reuters
An injured is rushed for treatment after he was evacuated in a helicopter following a cloudburst near the holy Amarnath cave shrine, at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Srinagar on July 9, 2022. — Reuters

During the annual pilgrimage, tens of thousands of Hindus cross glaciers and waterlogged trails to reach the cave which contains an ice stalagmite considered to be a physical manifestation of the god Shiva.

The cave is covered in snow for most of the year, but authorities let pilgrims visit for 45 days over the summer as rising temperatures clear the passes.

This year's pilgrimage takes place after a gap of two years due to COVID. The authorities were expecting a record 800,000 Hindu pilgrims at the shrine, after more than 60,000 arrivals in the first 10 days.