Over 1,500 pilgrims from India on their way to Kailash Mansarovar are stranded in Nepal due to inclement weather. One person is reportedly dead.
56-year-old Malappuram native Leela Mahendra Narayan reportedly died due to the altitude sickness in Simikot when she was returning from the pilgrimage, according to Mathrubhumi.
Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said that there are about 525 Indian pilgrims stranded in Simikot, 550 in Hilsa and 500 in Tibet side.
Indian pilgrims stranded in Nepal - There are about 525 pilgrims stranded in Simikot, 550 in Hilsa and another 500 in Tibet side. /1 #IndiansStrandedInNepalâ€” Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 3, 2018
"Indian Embassy in Nepal has deployed representatives in Nepalganj and Simikot. They are in touch with the pilgrims and ensuring that food and lodging facilities are available to all the pilgrims. /2 #IndiansStrandedInNepal," she wrote.
Indian Embassy in Nepal has deployed representatives in Nepalganj and Simikot. They are touch with the pilgrims and ensuring that food and lodging facilities are available to all the pilgrims. /2 #IndiansStrandedInNepalâ€” Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 3, 2018
Respective state governments leapt into action when the news spread. While Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu immediately started making inquiries into how many people from the state were stranded in Nepal, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said at least 36 people from his state were trapped near the China border.
The Karnataka government said that at least 250 pilgrims from the state were stranded, but the Indian Mission in Nepal was in touch with them.
#AndhraPradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu inquired about Kailash Mansarovar Yatra pilgrims from the state who are stranded in Nepal's Simikot, ordered officials to provide adequate help. The Real Time Governance Centre (RTGS) officials to spoke to some of the pilgrims. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/fnOaHdQXQgâ€” ANI (@ANI) July 3, 2018
At least 250 pilgrims from Karnataka are stranded in Nepal's Simikot after heavy rains caused landslips along the route of the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. The Embassy of India, Kathmandu is continuously monitoring the situation in Simikot: CMO Karnatakaâ€” ANI (@ANI) July 2, 2018
Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that all those, who went for the pilgrimage from Tamil Nadu were safe.
Meanwhile, families and friends of stranded pilgrims tweeted to Sushma Swaraj, giving her details of where they were stranded and how much food and water was available for them.
@SushmaSwaraj We, 700 Kailash yatrigas are stuck at simikot Nepal.Last 2 days' flights cancelled due to bad weather & today because of rain. Our food stock is empty. Please rescue us (Contact: +9779863065815 (Rammohan, Nepal))-[Tweeting on behalf of my Kailash yatriga friends]â€” venkatramanan (@venkatramanan) July 2, 2018
It is reported that the Indian Mission in Nepal has asked the tour operators to ensure the pilgrims stay on the Tibetan side as the supplies are inadequate in the Nepal side.
Due to inclement weather conditions, the efforts to find alternate routes to evacuate the pilgrims has been hampered. The Karnataka government added that India is also looking at using helicopters to rescue pilgrims in critical condition.
Simikot has seen bad weather for a few days now, with flights being disrupted since June 31.
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Mount Kailash and Mansarovar are one of the most popular pilgrimage routes, and thousands of pilgrims travel here every year. It is also one of the most treacherous routes, with scores of people dying here almost every year.