Jammu: The unseasonal rains and cold spell haven't just caught pilgrims in Vaishno Devi unawares. It has taken the entire northern belt by surprise.
Five pilgrims en route to Vaishno Devi died on Monday and temperatures plummeted to four degrees.
More than 22 other persons have been admitted to a hospital at Katra after suffering from hypothermia and are in critical condition.
More than 1000 devotees are still stranded midway and over 5000 others have been moved to safer places in Adhkuwari.
Authorities say relief efforts are on. “We've provided shelter and blankets wherever possible,” says Addl CEO, IAS, Puneet Kumar.
But pilgrims may not make much progress any time soon since the metrological department says these conditions are likely to stay the same in the next few days.