Around 1400 tourists stranded in cyclonic weather in the Andamans
Around 1,400 tourists are stranded at Havelock and Neil islands in the Andamans due to cyclonic weather conditions.
Port Blair: Around 1,400 tourists are stranded at Havelock and Neil islands in the Andamans due to cyclonic weather conditions.
The two islands, approximately 40 kms from Port Blair, have been hit the most by the cyclonic weather conditions caused by a severe depression over south-east Bay of Bengal which led to heavy rainfall, strong wind and rough sea conditions, officials said.
The administration has already declared the cyclonic weather as 'L1 Disaster'.
Neil and Havelock are two of the most popular tourist attractions in Andamans and the only means of transportation from them are vessels and choppers which have stopped operation since Monday last due to bad weather.
In its 8 pm bulletin, the India Meteorological Department stated - "The depression over southeast Bay of Bengal moved slightly northward during the past 6 hours and lay centred at 1730 hrs IST of today, the 7th December, 2016 over southeast Bay of Bengal near Latitude 10.0ºN and Longitude 90.5ºE, about 1160 km southeast of Visakhapatnam, 1220 km east-south-east of Machilipatnam, 270 km west-northwest of Car Nicobar and 300 km south-southwest of Port Blair. The system is very likely to move nearly northward for next 12 hours and then northwestwards towards Andhra Pradesh coast during subsequent 4 days. It is very likely to intensify into a deep depression during next 24 hours and into a cyclonic storm in subsequent 24 hours."
"About 1,400 tourists, who had visited the islands, are now stranded and unable to return to Port Blair to fly back home," South Andaman's deputy commissioner Udit Prakash Rai said.
Indian naval ships Bitra, Bangaram, Kumbhir and LCU 38 have been deployed for evacuation, which has not yet begun because of unfavourable weather conditions.
"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 succour and relief," a Defence official said, as per PTI.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) December 7, 2016
Once sea surge ends tourists will be evacuated. Everyone is advised to stay calm. Authorities taking full measures.
— NDMA India (@ndmaindia) December 7, 2016
Andaman administration officials said the cyclonic weather 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.
(With Agency inputs)