Amarnath Cloudburst: ‘It Was So Fierce That I’m Still Shaking’

Yatris at the site of the tragedy

After a narrow escape, a young pilgrim walked 16 kilometers from the fatal site to narrate what’s perhaps the first eyewitness account of the Amarnath cloudburst.

Srinagar- My name is Subhangar [shaking, sighing]…

I witnessed the natural fury unfolding in front of my eyes. I had a narrow escape. You can say, I’m alive because of one-minute difference.

But when it happened, I saw a vendor running for his life. I couldn’t think anything else and followed him. Suddenly, the holy camp reverberating with devotional songs and slogans became a chaotic sight. Cries rented in the air and the sound of the doom rattled one and all.

However, it’s incorrect to say that it happened due to some cloudburst. No, nothing like that. I was there and I tell you what happened.

There’re these three mountain streams that come down from the upper reaches. One of them comes out of a glacier visible to eye.

This particular stream suddenly gushed out water with high speed at around 5:30 pm on Friday. Such was the ferocity of the flow that both tent and inmates inside were drifted with the currents. One ponywalla and an army man were also drifted.

I saw it with my own eyes. And I can’t tell how terrifying it was.

Among the yatris, I saw this young girl mourning the loss of her family members. She lost both her parents in the tragedy. Perhaps, their bodies are yet to be recovered. Others are just cooling their heels at the site for any news of those they were sharing their laughter with till last day. They’re helplessly watching the situation as the rescue operation is going on.

This natural fury was so fierce that I’m still shaking.

Many people are still stranded at the perilous point. The Baltal route has totally gone bad. I couldn’t sleep a wink and had to face lot of hassles and foot distance of 16 kilometers to reach here.

The site of the tragedy is still very much treacherous. Nobody deserves to witness what I witnessed last evening.

Follow this link to join our WhatsApp group: Join Now

Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.



Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.