Pilgrimage in occupied Kashmir resumes as many lacking from floods


In this photograph taken on July 9, 2022, an aerial view of the tents wherein the Hindu pilgrims take rest due to bad weather, at Baltal base camp during the Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir. — AFP
On this {photograph} taken on July 9, 2022, an aerial view of the tents whereby the Hindu pilgrims take relaxation because of unhealthy climate, at Baltal base camp in the course of the Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir. — AFP

SRINAGAR: 1000’s of Hindu pilgrims resumed their trek to a well-liked cave shrine within the mountains of Indian-occupied Kashmir on Monday, at the same time as scores remained lacking after flash floods hit considered one of their camps.

The Amarnath shrine sits at 3,900 metres (12,800 toes) altitude and is devoted to Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, with an ice formation within the cave believed to be an incarnation of the deity.

On Friday a sudden cloudburst triggered flash floods that swept away a whole lot of tents and three giant group kitchens that serve the pilgrims free meals, abandoning a metres-thick layer of mud and particles.

Authorities within the restive territory have confirmed 16 deaths and mentioned on Saturday that one other 47 individuals have been lacking, however they’ve subsequently remained tight-lipped on the numbers, and there are issues the true toll might show a lot increased.

“There are layers of thick mud and big boulders throughout the cave introduced down by the flood,” one particular person concerned in offering logistics for the pilgrimage yearly informed AFP after visiting the world.

“I’ve by no means seen such devastation up there,” they added, declining to be recognized as they weren’t authorised to talk to the media.

“I actually concern many, many extra could possibly be buried below the particles. Given the frenzy of people that have been hit by the flood, I don’t know the way it’s potential to estimate the numbers of the lacking.”

1000’s of troopers and rescue staff have been persevering with search efforts on Monday utilizing ground-penetrating radar, thermal imagers and canine squads. The Indian Military mentioned in a press release that specialised mountain and avalanche rescue groups have been “constantly working to search out any potential indicators of life” across the cave.

On the similar time, hundreds of undeterred Hindu pilgrims reached the standard Nunwan base camp south of the shrine.

A whole lot of hundreds of Hindu devotees undertake the arduous journey for the annual pilgrimage, which was not held for 2 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2017, a pilgrim bus was attacked by suspected rebels, leaving 11 useless.

However the climate has proved to be a extra common problem alongside the treacherous routes to the cave shrine.

Almost 250 pilgrims died in 1996 once they have been out of the blue caught up in snow storms that hit the world.

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