The minister said rescue teams have already reached Port Blair and will start the evacuation process as soon as the intensity of the cyclone reduces.
Andamans Cyclone: Expressing his concern for teh well-being of 1,400-plus stranded tourists at Havelock and Neil islands in Andaman Islands, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said while they are safe, efforts are on for their early evacuation. He also urged families not to panic. The minister said rescue teams have already reached Port Blair and will start the evacuation process as soon as the intensity of the cyclone reduces.
Due to heavy rain and storm, tourists have been stranded on the twin islands since Monday and due to worse weather conditions, the rescue and evacuation operations have been hampered. Four ships — Indian naval ships Bitra, Bangaram, Kumbhir and LCU 38 which have been deployed for evacuation by the Navy on Wednesday – are still anchored near Havelock Island as the heavy downpour coupled with a tropical storm have made the sea rough and dangerous. However, there is adequate food, fresh water and medicines for the stranded tourists as revealed by a defence official.
The horrific cyclonic storm has uprooted trees, snapped power supply and caused flooding in low-lying areas of Port Blair. With that the medium of connectivity is also badly affected as no mobile and internet connection is available. The National Disaster Management Authority said the deep depression over Bay of Bengal has turned into a cyclonic storm that is now moving towards the Andhra Pradesh coast.