Death toll in Baltal cloudburst reaches 4, 5 persons missing

Death toll in Baltal cloudburst reaches 4, 5 persons missing

MOHAMMAD IMRAN
GANDERBAL: The death toll in the flash flood triggered by cloudburst at Baltal in Sonmarg on Friday late night reached four after a civilian succumbed to injuries at SKIMS on Sunday.
An official said that the deceased Abdul Qayoom Bhat son of Abdul Rehman Bhat of Shopian had been critically injured in the flash flood and had been airlifted to SKIMS Srinagar for treatment.
A senior official at Baltal base camp told Kashmir Reader that a loss-assessment team headed by sub-divisional magistrate Kangan Ghulam Mohammad Mir and comprising of SDRF, R&B, Amarnath Shrine Board, Fire &Emergency Services submitted their report about the losses in the cloudburst.
He said 65 tents, 114 shops, 51 pony tents, two langars and 18 vehicles have got damaged.
A police official said five persons are missing at Baltal and identified them as Sahil Gupta, Rajendra Tiwari of Bhopal, Anil Sahoo of Indore, Aruna Himat Saru and Daya Ram Saru, both residents of Mysore.
The cloudburst hit a tributary of Bajiri Nallah near Zojila on late Friday night on Srinagar-Leh highway and the resulting flash floods washed washing away three persons and injured eleven others.
The annual Amarnath Yatra remains suspended along Ganderbal-Baltal route on the second day because of a landslide near Fish Point. However, sources said that most Amarnath pilgrims walked by foot from Fish Point to Baltal base camp and proceeded to the cave shrine.
The Srinagar-Leh highway also remained closed. Chief engineer BEACON Brig AK Das told Kashmir Reader that four machines and extra men have been pressed into service to clear the blocked road.
He said that the highway has been cleared at Bajiri Nallah and Ranga, adding only the stretch near Fish Point is to be cleared.
“We will work till late Sunday and if weather remains pleasant the vehicular movement on Srinagar-Leh highway will be allowed by Monday morning,” he added.