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Navy to the rescue as heavy rains leave 800 tourists stranded in Andamans

07 December 2016

The Indian Navy has sent four ships to help evacuate 800 tourists stranded on the Havelock Islands in the Andamans following heavy rains.

Naval ships Bitra, Bangaram, Kumbhir and LCU 38 have left for Havelock from where the tourists are to be ferried to Port Blair, officials said.

The disaster management department of the Andamans administration called the Navy early in the day after the rains left hundreds of tourists stranded amidst warnings of a cyclonic storm.

Havelock is an island about 40 km from the Island state's capital Port Blair.

"There is a deep depression (in the sea) about 310 km from Port Blair. That is why the Navy was contacted as we don't want to take any chances," news agency IANS quoted an official from the Directorate of Disaster Management as saying.

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

"We can't say as of now that the depression will turn into a cyclone," he said.

Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said the ships were in the area and that there was a bad sea state. He said the ships departed from Port Blair around 0315 hours. He said the Indian Navy has sent four ships - INS Bitra, Bangaram, Kumbhir and LCU 38 - for the evacuation.

Sharma said all the ships will go alongside and ferry tourists to Port Blair. Their highest consideration is safety of the tourists

The Navy expects to complete the evacuation by the evening.

A popular tourist destination known for its beaches, Havelock is the largest in the chain of islands that form the Ritchie's Archipelago in the Andamans.

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