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Andaman cyclone: 1900 tourists stranded in islands evacuated to safety

11 December, 2016, 00:44 | Author: Lloyd Doyle

"More than 800 tourists are stranded in Havelock Island", CPRO Defence S S Birdi said.

Rescue operations of around 1,400 stranded tourists in two islands of Andamans due to cyclonic weather began this morning as the Navy, Coast Guard and Union Territory administration jointly undertook a major evacuation drive.

At least 1400 tourists, including 600 Bengalis, were stranded in the islands due to heavy rain.

A statement issued by the Indian Navy stated that Navy ships INS Bitra, INS Bangaram, INS Kumbhir and INS LCU 38 have been deployed for the evacuation of the tourists.

There was no loss of life and property and tourists were safe as they had been asked them to stay in hotels during bad weather, Andaman and Nicobar Lieutenant Governor Jagdish Mukhi said. It's only moderate rain and winds.

"Altogether 2,376 tourists were evacuated from the two islands and brought to Port Blair". Mobile and internet services have also been disrupted.

"There is a deep depression (in the sea) about 310 kms from Port Blair".

Four navy ships had to return in the failed rescue attempt, the officials from A&N Disaster Management said.

The IAF has pressed three Mi-17 V5 helicopters for the rescue operation at Havelock Island.

The Navy expects to complete the evacuation by the evening. The rescue operations will start as soon as the weather gets normal. "Things will be better by tomorrow, till then instructed hotels to not charge tourists for stay and food", Mukhi told ANI.

"Waiver on applicable penalties of re-issuance, date change, no-show, and cancellation and refund charges has been extended for travel from/to Port Blair, The waiver is applicable for both domestic and global flights, on all tickets issued on or before December 9 for travel period during December 6 to December 12", the airline said in a statement.

"Now the weather conditions have improved".


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