Amarnath Yatra 2018
An aerial view of route for pilgrims during Amarnath Yatra 2018

SRINAGAR — After remaining suspended for three days due to cloudburst on Friday at lower Amarnath cave, killing at least 16 people and injuring dozens, Amarnath Yatra resumed on Monday, reports said here.

Reports, as per Kashmir News Service, said that Amarnath Yatra resumed today morning after a fresh batch of Yatris was allowed to proceed towards the holy cave from Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam.

They said that the Yatra resumed at around 8 AM in the morning after it was delayed due to rain in the morning. “Yatra was scheduled to start at 5 AM today, but due to rain it got delayed to 8 AM,” they said.

Yatra was suspended after a cloudburst hit at lower Amarnath cave shrine on Friday, in which at least 16 people died, while dozens were injured.

16 bodies recovered, seven identified

At least 16 bodies were recovered from the lower Amarnath cave where a cloudburst incident took place on Friday evening while the authorities said that only seven bodies have been identified so far.

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Officials while divulging the details, as per the news agency Kashmir News Observer, said that several people are still missing while the rescue operation is going on to track them.

The officials said that 56 persons have suffered injuries in the incident and 40 among them have received minor injuries and 16 have been airlifted to SKIMS hospital for specialized treatment.

The rescue operations are ongoing by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), SDRF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), CRPF, BSF, Army and J&K Police. At least six teams have been set to launch the massive rescue operation at the spot, officials said.

Earlier, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) informed that about 15,000 people were safely shifted till now after the cloudburst incident near the holy shrine of Amarnath on Friday.

“Most of the yatris who were stranded near Holy cave area due to flash flood last evening have been shifted to Panjtarni. ITBP had expanded its Route opening and protection parties from Lower Holy cave to Panjtarni. The evacuation continued till 3.38 AM. No Yatri is left on the track. About 15,000 people were safely shifted till now,” they said.

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Besides, BSF’s MI-17 chopper was pressed into service to air transport the injured persons and dead bodies as well from Neelgrah helipad, Baltal to BSF Camp Srinagar for further treatment or further ferrying bodies to their homes.

Furthermore, the Indian Air Force has deployed 2 each ALH Dhruv and Mi-17 V5 helicopters from Srinagar for the rescue operations in the Amarnath cave site. One AN-32 and Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft are on stand-by in Chandigarh for further requirements, IAF officials said.

Meanwhile, the administration had set up a helpline for the Amarnath Yatra. “Helpline numbers for Amarnath Yatra: NDRF: 011-23438252 011-23438253; Kashmir Divisional Helpline: 0194-2496240; Shrine Board Helpline: 0194-2313149,” the public relations department of the government and the SASB tweeted from their respective handles.

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