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Andaman and Nicobar Islands: All 2,376 stranded tourists evacuated

Havelock Island is the largest chain of Islands and is a famous tourist destination, and is located 40 km from the capital Port Blair.


Andaman and Nicobar Islands: All 2,376 stranded tourists evacuated
Pic courtsey: ANI

Port Blair: The security personnel and the Union Territory administration have evacuated more than 2,000 stranded tourists, including several foreign nationals, from Neil and Havelock Islands in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

In a release, the Directorate of Disaster Management said altogether 2,376 tourists stranded in Havelock and Neil Islands, due to a deep depression formed over the Bay of Bengal that later intensified into cyclone storm "Vardah", were brought to Port Blair during the day-long operation.

The Defence Ministry said four of the foreigners were from Spain, two each from Germany, Italy, and Latvia, and one each from Israel and Ireland.

Six Indian Navy ships, three Coast Guard vessels, besides ships of Directorate of Shipping Services, and three Indian Air Force MI-17 V5 choppers took part in the rescue mission that started on Friday morning despite rain and strong winds, according to a Defence Ministry spokesperson.

The six Navy ships that took part in the mission are Karmukh, Kumbhir, Bitra, Baratang, LCU 27 and LCU 38.

The three IAF choppers carried out 14 sorties -- 11 from Havelock, and three from Neil island.

Earlier, at a high-level meeting held at Raj Niwas, Andaman and Nicobar Lt Governor Jagdish Mukhi directed the Andaman Nicobar Command and the Administration to immediately start the evacuation of tourists from Havelock and Neil Islands.

He said there was no untoward incident and no loss of life or property due to the weather conditions.

The sudden evacuation mission was initiated at the request of the Andaman and Nicobar Disaster Management, which speculated that the cyclonic storm might strike Havelock, an island about 36 km from capital Port Blair.

The Navy had on Wednesday tried to rescue the tourists stranded on Havelock. However, due to extreme weather conditions, the tourists could not reach the jetty to board the ships.

Havelock Island is the largest chain of Islands and is a famous tourist destination, and is located 40 km from the capital Port Blair.

(With Agency inputs) 

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