The Amarnath Yatra has been suspended for the safety of thousands of pilgrims traveling to the shrine cave, after multiple landslides were triggered and the Met Department declared flood alert in south Kashmir – where the cave shrines are located.
As the third batch of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims left from Bhagwati Nagar base camp, they were instructed to return back due to bad weather conditions on the Pahalgam pass. Reports of multiple landslides have been registered in southern Kashmir due to heavy rainfall and flooded conditions in most surrounding regions. The meteorological department stated that highest rainfall was recorded in south Kashmir’s Kokernag, in Anantnag and Qazigund district on Friday and after a sharp rise in water level, flood alerts were rolled out.
Owing to bad weather and ensure safety of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, the authorities have suspended Amarnath Yatra temporarily as preventive measures; and said that “no pilgrims will be allowed to move towards the cave shrine because of rain and slippery conditions along the two treks”. The weather is expected to remain cloudy for next two days, which can worsen landslide incidents and end up blocking passages to the shrines; however, the Met department issues weather advisory every three hours and once the weather is cleared, Amarnath Yatra will be resumed.
The Jammu and Kashmir authorities have arranged dedicated Yatra control rooms at Nunwan and Baltal base camps. The control rooms ensure safety of pilgrims and will only “allow to proceed towards the cave shrine after obtaining the latest weather update from the meteorological stations set up at the base camps”.