AI brings back stranded tourists from Andaman

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AI brings back stranded tourists from Andaman

Naval ships Bitra, Bangaram, Kumbhir and LCU 38 were deployed for evacuation and will ferry tourists to Port Blair.

The Indian Air Force launched an evacuation operation for rescue of tourists stranded at Havelock and Neil Islands in Andamans since Friday morning.

Havelock is an island about 40 km from the Island state's capital Port Blair. All tourists are safe and their needs are being taken care of by the administration.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Governor Jagdish Mukhi yesterday confirmed that 1,400 tourists are stuck on Havelock Island and added that the administration has asked them to stay indoors till the weather gets normal.

Some flights landed at Port Blair while many others were cancelled.

Four navy ships had to return in the failed rescue attempt, the officials from A&N Disaster Management said. All the tourists will be shifted from Havelock island to Port Blair. Sources said that there were efforts to send Coast Guard vessels to Havelock to evacuate the tourists but bad weather put paid to this as well.

The three IAF choppers carried out 14 sorties - three from Neil island, and 11 from Havelock. Indian Navy ships are however, remained stationed near Havelock Island. However, the operations started on Friday evening, when the weather condition improved. The evacuation operation was launched following a request from civil Administration to bring back almost 800 tourists from Havelock.

Cyclonic weather conditions caused by a severe depression over southeast Bay of Bengal, led to heavy rainfall, strong winds and rough sea conditions over the past three days.

Meanwhile, the local administration directed hotel and restaurant owners to help all tourists by extending their bookings and by providing free food, whenever possible.

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

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