Tor­ren­tial rain strands tourists on In­dian is­land

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

NEW DELHI: Tor­ren­tial rain and rough seas have stranded around 1,000 tourists on one of In­dia’s trop­i­cal is­lands off its east coast, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day. Of­fi­cials from the lo­cal An­daman and Ni­co­bar Is­lands ad­min­is­tra­tion said they have asked the In­dian navy to help res­cue tourists from Have­lock, one of the smaller is­lands most pop­u­lar with vis­i­tors. “Around 1,000 tourists who had gone to Have­lock is­land have been stuck there since Mon­day be­cause of heavy rains,” TKS Ajayan, deputy di­rec­tor at the lo­cal disas­ter man­age­ment depart­ment, told AFP by phone.

The ar­chi­pel­ago is one of In­dia’s pre­mier do­mes­tic tourist des­ti­na­tions thanks to its pris­tine beaches, marine life and lush-green forests. Ferry ser­vices be­tween is­lands are cur­rently sus­pended. “The boats (be­tween Have­lock and the main is­land) haven’t op­er­ated yes­ter­day or to­day be­cause of bad weather, which is why we have sought the Navy’s help. We know all of them are safe,” said Ajayan. The navy has de­ployed four ships to the is­lands but said the sea was still too rough for them to risk mov­ing the stranded trav­el­ers.

“We have reached there but the civil­ian lives can’t be risked in these rough seas,” said Cap­tain DK Sharma, a naval spokesman. “We will be­gin mov­ing them only af­ter the con­di­tions im­prove.” The me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal depart­ment fore­cast “heavy to very heavy” rain­fall and “rough to very rough” seas around the is­lands in the next 24 hours.

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