Amarnath Yatra resumes after halt of 2 days due to cloudburst tragedy
The annual Amarnath Yatra started about 11 days back after a gap of two years due to the pandemic.
After a halt of two days due to the cloudburst tragedy that claimed 16 lives, the Amarnath Yatra was resumed on Monday morning. Thousands of pilgrims resumed their journey to the holy shrine.
About 2,000 to 3,000 pilgrims were allowed to move, according to officials, towards Chandanwari from the Pahalgam base camp. “A fresh batch of yatris (pilgrims) have been allowed to proceed towards holy cave from the Nunwan Base Camp of Pahalgam. The Yatra was stopped for the last two days after cloudburst incident near the Amarnath holy cave,” an official said.
The annual pilgrimage - that started on June 30 after a gap of two years - is held from two routes: the Baltal route and the Pahalgam route. "The Amarnath Yatra resumed from Yatri Niwas base camp in Jammu city on Monday morning. 3,010 pilgrims left for Pahalgam base camp at 4.30 am and 1,016 pilgrims left for Baltal base camp at 3.30 am, another official said.
On Friday evening, a huge tragedy had unfolded as a cloudburst took place near the iconic shrine, triggering flash floods, chaos and confusion.
Massive rescue operations were launched soon after that stretched overnight by armed forces, disaster response forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Thousands of people were rescued. Survivors recalled the plight and the struggle they faced as they were eventually moved out to safety.
J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha who visited Chandanwari on Sunday had met pilgrims, and had hinted about the resumption of yatra.
On the weather event that led to the tragedy, Sonam Lotus, scientist at the weather bureau in Srinagar, said: “We suspect that the region above the Amarnath cave may have experienced a cloudburst, leading to highly intense and highly localised rainfall that our automatic weather station could not catch. We have no means of measuring the rainfall there as it is very remote area.”