Tourists stranded in Andamans to be rescued once cyclone subsides: Rajnath
Around 1,400 tourists stranded at Havelock and Neil islands in the Andamans after heavy rain and "cyclonic weather conditions� will be evacuated once the intensity of a cyclone reduces, the government said on Thursday.
Around 1,400 tourists stranded at Havelock and Neil islands in the Andamans after heavy rain and "cyclonic weather conditions” will be evacuated once the intensity of a cyclone reduces, the government said on Thursday.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh that everyone is safe and appealed to families of the tourists not to panic.
“All the tourists who are stranded in Havelock island are safe. The government has made all the preparations to evacuate them,” Singh said in a series of tweets.
He added that the government will launch the rescue operations immediately after the intensity of the cyclone reduces. The navy has sent four ships, Bitra, Bangaram, Kumbhir and LCU 38, for evacuation but they couldn't dock yesterday because of the weather. Officials said waves up to 5 m high have made the transfer of tourists onto the ships a very difficult and dangerous prospect, reported NDTV.
“The ships are waiting outside the harbour. Adequate food, fresh water, medicines and doctors besides divers and local administration personnel are being ferried on board to provide relief," a Defence official said.
Reports from Port Blair – the capital of Andaman and Nicobar – said the 1,400 also included hundreds of people trapped in Neil island, another popular resort in the archipelago on the Bay of Bengal, since Monday.
Earlier reports had said 800 people are stranded at Havelock. The group of islands has been pounded by heavy rains and winds for the past few days, severely affecting travel to the mainland.
Andaman administration officials said the cyclonic storm has uprooted trees, disrupted power supply and caused flooding in some low-lying areas of Port Blair.
Mobile and internet connectivity have also been snapped in many areas.