At least eight people died and others were injured when a cloudburst sparked flash floods and landslides at a Hindu shrine in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir on July 8, Indian officials said.
The flooding happened near the Amarnath cave temple, located in a mountainous area about 65 km (40 miles) east of Srinagar, the largest city in Jammu and Kashmir, as hundreds of pilgrims were visiting the site for the first time in three years. The annual pilgrimage, or yatra, was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic restrictions.
This video from Jammu and Kashmir Police shows officials helping people cross a mountainside to escape the affected area.
Other footage from the scene that circulated on social media depicted torrents of water rushing down from the cave and into an area packed with tents.
Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha said he was “deeply pained” by the tragedy, and said ongoing rescue operations were being carried out by police, the Border Security Force (BSF), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and the Indian Army.
The number of deaths was expected to rise, Indian media said. Credit: J&K Police via Storyful