9 July 2022.
On July 8, 2022, a cloudburst near Amarnath shrine in Jammu and Kashmir took life of 15 people and over 40 are missing. Following the cloudburst, Amarnath yatra has been suspended till further advisory.
- Cloudburst has destroyed the community kitchens and tents near the shrine. It was reported at around 5:30 pm.
- Security forces disaster management agencies started the rescue operation immediately.
- Cloudburst is the reason that has been attributed as a cause of death.
- However, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD), it was sudden rainfall was not a cloudburst.
- A special weather advisory is released every year by IMD, for the Yatra. On July 8, daily forecast for this area was on “yellow alert”, meaning “keep watch”.
- Even the evening forecast stated “partly cloudy sky with chances of light rain” for all the routes towards Amarnath Shrine.
- No accompanying warning was issued.
- According to automatic weather station (AWS) data at the Amarnath cave, no rainfall was reported from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Between 4:30 to 5:30 pm, 3 mm rainfall was reported, which increased to 28 mm between 5:30 pm-6:30 pm.
What is cloudburst?
According to criterion of IMD, if there is a rainfall of 100 mm in one hour, then it is called as cloudburst.
Was it a flash flood?
- As per eyewitness and viral videos, stream between two mountains located at 200-300 metres away, resulted into heavy rainfall.
- It happened due to rainfall behind the Amarnath cave.
- It was a localised cloud over the cave, but not a flash flood.
- It might be the result of severe rainfall at a higher altitude than Amarnath cave.
- This shrine is located in Jammu and Kashmir, at an altitude of 3,888 m.
- It is located at a distance of 141 kms from Srinagar.
- It is an important place of Hinduism.
- Amarnath cave is located near Lidder Valley.
- It is surrounded by glaciers, snowy mountains, which remains covered with snow most of the year.
- Yearly pilgrimage varied between 20 and 60 days.