Disastrous cyclones from Bay of Bengal hit the Andaman islands, causing sea turbulence, strong winds and heavy rainfall (212 mm) since yesterday. This ‘L1 disaster’ (a catastrophe posing severe threat to health and life) added to the burden of the Centre, which is already dealing with economic crisis arriving from demonetisation. Recognizing the gravity of Andaman cyclones, several government bodies have come for the rescue of tourists trapped in the said islands. Rajasthan CM was one of those who sprang to prompt action.
Finding that some tourists from Rajasthan were trapped in this natural disaster, Rajasthan CM urged rescue officers to extend a helping hand. On the CM’s direction, Rajasthan Disaster Management Department set out to track information on Rajasthani tourist in Andaman Islands.
Centre and State’s Rescue Operations for Combating Andaman Cyclones
Havelock and Neil islands located approximately 40 kilometres from Port Blair suffered major devastation caused by severe depression in the south-east regions of Bay of Bengal. Consequently, about 1,400 tourists were stranded in the Andamans. Indian government had to appoint naval forces to evacuate them. Four ships, namely LCU 38, Bangaram, Bitra and Kumbhir were pressed into rescue operation. Unfortunately they couldn’t dock yesterday because of harsh sea climate.
Disrupted mobile/internet connectivity, black outs and destruction of essential supplies imposed a major challenge for the government. Home Minister Rajnath Singh directed officers to send fresh food, water and medicine supplies to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan CM got in touch with Andaman-Nicobar government and NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) to receive live updates about the prevailing weather conditions.
Rajasthan (DRM) Disaster Management and Relief officers were informed of about 450 tourists trapped in Neil island and 1000 travellers caught in Havelock island. It’s difficult to estimate the total number of Rajasthani natives involved in the incident.
Nevertheless, Rajasthan government is putting in efforts to provide maximum help to all the victims of this disaster. DRM office has publicized the helpline numbers of NDMA control room, A&N Island government and Jaipur Control room online. Efforts are being made to reach out to victims’ families in Rajasthan.
Families can get in touch with authorities at following hotline numbers:
- Delhi NDMA: 011-26701729, 011-26701728
- A&N Island authorities: 03192-244266, 03192-238880
- DMR Jaipur: 0141-2227603, 0141-2227084
There are no casualties as of now, as reported by Home Minister Singh. While the Centre and the state is relentlessly trying to rescue the victims, we request the public to keep patience. Any kind of help or information is appreciated. We must side with the government to help the victims caught in this tragedy.