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Avalanche near Kedarnath leave pilgrims worried, officials allay fears

DEHRADUN: An avalanche near the Kedarnath temple this morning left pilgrims scared even as officials said those planning to visit the shrine need not worry.

"At around 6.30 am, a huge chunk broke off a glacier between Kedar Dome and Swargarohini and fell near the Chorabari lake located behind the temple. Plumes of snow were seen hanging over the lake for three to four minutes," Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC) chairman Ajendra Ajay said.

The avalanche right behind the temple scared devotees, who were reminded of the massive 2013 Kedarnath deluge, which had killed thousands.

However, Ajay said the broken glacier did not lead to a rise in the water levels in Mandakini and Saraswati rivers and there was no need to panic.

As a precautionary measure, the local administration and teams from Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd, BKTC and the State Disaster Response Force are keeping a constant watch on the water levels, Ajay said.

"The incident occurred far away from the temple in the Himalayan region, where such incidents are common. It has had no effect on Kedarpuri, the the township around the temple. Those arriving on the Kedarnath Dham Yatra need not worry," he added.



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