1,400 Stranded Tourists In The Andamans May Be Rescued Today: Official

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1,400 Stranded Tourists In The Andamans May Be Rescued Today: Official

Tourists are stranded at Havelock and Neil islands in Andamans due to stormy weather (Representational)


Port Blair:  As the cyclonic weather in the Andamans showed signs of improvement on Thursday, around 1,400 tourists stranded in two islands since Monday may be rescued tomorrow, officials said.

Ships from both the Navy and the Union Territory's administration were unable to enter the harbour due to strong winds and choppy seas on Thursday.

"There were no rains since morning but the winds were strong. There has been a marginal improvement in the weather and we hope that tomorrow morning, we will be able to bring them back," an official told PTI.

He said all tourists (numbering around 1,400) are safe and all their needs are being taken care of by the administration.

Located about 40 km from here, Havelock and Neil islands are the most popular tourist attractions of Andamans, and the worst affected.

Due to bad weather, transportation to and from the twin islands have been suspended since Monday, but the weather worsened on Wednesday.

According to the MeT department, the cyclonic storm 'Vardah' lied 240 km west-southwest of Port Blair in the Bay of Bengal in the evening, and is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm tomorrow and will move northwestwards.

"Sea condition would be rough to very rough along and off Andaman islands and adjoining sea areas during the next 24 hours," the forecast said, adding that light to moderate rainfall at most places is very likely tomorrow, along with squally winds with a speed reaching 45-55 kmph.

Rescue ships had to return back to Port Blair during the day as none of them could dock at the jetty of the islands.

"A decision has been taken that hotels where tourists are stranded will not take any room rent from them, besides giving them food and water for free," Deputy Commissioner of South Andamans Udit Prakash Rai said, adding that they will make all arrangements to send tourists back home once they are rescued.


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