Bengal tourists safely rescued from Havelock, Neil islands
The Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard rescued 1,903 tourists, who were trapped at Havelock and Neil Island on the Bay of Bengal.
The turbulent weather caused by deep depression followed by cyclonic wind stranded many tourists in Andaman and Nicobar Islands among which more than 100 people are from Bengal.
1,614 persons were rescued from Havelock and 289 persons were rescued from Neil Island.
The Bengal government stood beside the families of the tourists. State Co-operation department minister Arup Roy, who is an MLA from Howrah helped the families there who were away for the trip in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier asked her ministers and officers about the situation there and condition of Bengali tourists.
Meanwhile, the Navy, Coast Guard and the administration of the Union Territory jointly undertook a major evacuation drive.
A defence official said three choppers of the Indian Air force landed at Havelock Island, as the weather improved on Friday, and brought back some people in the first shuttle.
Six naval ships, two of these from Coast Guard, sailed out in the morning hours from Port Blair for
the rescue operations, the official said.
The operation began in full swing as the weather improved, four days after the cyclonic weather stranded thousands in two islands of Havelock and Neil.
All tourists are safe and their needs are being taken care of by the administration, the defence spokesperson said.
Located about 40 km from Port Blair, Havelock and Neil islands are among the most popular tourist
destination of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. They were affected the most by the cyclonic weather.
Meanwhile, a decision has been taken that hotels, where tourists are stranded, will not take room rent from them, besides giving them food and water for free.