Torrential rain strands 1,000 tourists on Indian island
December 07 2016 11:39 AM
The Great Nicobar Island

AFP/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 Wednesday.

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,’ T.K.S 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 travellers.

‘We have reached there but the civilian lives can't be risked in these rough seas,’ said Captain D.K 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.

Last updated: December 07 2016 12:08 PM

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