Sixteen individuals have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir, with rescuers looking for dozens extra lacking, after flash floods swept away lots of of tents close to a well-liked Hindu pilgrimage web site, officers stated Saturday.

Round 10,000 individuals have been camped close to the distant Amarnath temple, nestled in a Himalayan mountain cave, when a sudden cloudburst triggered a deluge.

Frequent whizzing helicopter sorties have been evacuating the lifeless and an unknown variety of panicked and injured pilgrims from the Baltal base camp to the north of the shrine.

"We discovered 16 our bodies thus far and a minimum of 40 are lacking," an official from the state catastrophe response company instructed AFP.

"Safety forces and all of the rescue groups are searching for the lacking and injured," the official stated on situation of anonymity, as he was not approved to talk to media.

Vivek, a pilgrim who escaped the harmful downpour, stated that a few of his household and members of the group he travelled to the location with have been nonetheless lacking.

"We have been a gaggle of 150 and 30 of us are nonetheless caught up there. Their telephones are switched off."

The annual pilgrimage sees lots of of 1000's of individuals trek up for days via rugged mountain passes to achieve the shrine.

Guests pay their respects to a big ice formation they imagine is an incarnation of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a number of other senior authorities officers expressed their grief over the lack of lives.

"Condolences to the bereaved households," Modi tweeted late Friday.

Treacherous climate

The pilgrimage is being held for the primary time since 2019 after a two-year halt introduced on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In regular instances it is likely one of the greatest non secular occasions in Kashmir, a Muslim-majority area disputed between India and Pakistan that has lengthy been the location of an insurgency towards Indian rule.

This 12 months the pilgrimage is being staged alongside an enormous safety deployment involving tens of 1000's of troopers and police.

However treacherous climate within the mountains has up to now posed an even bigger risk than safety points within the restive territory.

Practically 250 individuals died in 1996 after they have been immediately caught up in snowstorms that hit the realm.

Heavy rains have lashed South Asia this monsoon season, with scores killed in June after flooding, landslides and lightning strikes in India's distant northeast.

Greater than 100 others have been killed in Bangladesh the identical month when rivers swelled to document ranges and inundated rural villages after a number of the heaviest rains in a century.

Floods are a daily menace in India and Bangladesh, however specialists say local weather change is growing their frequency, ferocity and unpredictability.

© 2022 AFP

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