1400 tourists stranded in Andamans safe, govt set to evacuate them: Rajnath

Indian Navy with the help of Indian Coast Guard ships and Union Territory administration evacuated 425 tourists from Havelock Island in Andamans on Friday.

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.

Heavy rains and winds make it hard for tourists to reach the jetty to board the ships, which would ferry them from the Havelock Islands to Port Blair.

"The government will launch the rescue operations immediately after the intensity of the cyclone reduces".

There is, however, no reason to panic, the officials said adding the administration is fully geared up to tackle any situation.

Total 14 sorties carried out, 11 sorties from Havelock carrying 230 passengers and three sorties from Neil island carrying 65 passengers.

He said the ships departed from Port Blair around 0315 hours onwards.

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

Three Coast Guard vessels, six Indian Navy ships and three MI-17 V5 choppers took part in the rescue mission that started on Friday morning despite heavy rains and strong winds.

For those on Havelock and Neil Islands, the vacation had turned into a nightmare as efforts to rescue them by the Navy went in vain due to the adverse weather. The evacuation operation was launched following a request from civil Administration to bring back almost 800 tourists from Havelock.

"Now the weather conditions have improved". We hope the tourists will be able to reach the jetty.

The Andaman and Nicobar Disaster Management, which speculated cyclonic storm to hit the area, contacted Indian Navy and requested for an evacuation process be initiated.

Related news: