KOLKATA: The weather in Andamans turned for the worse on Thursday afternoon as cyclonic storm Vardah intensified, drowning hopes of an immediate rescue of tourists from the two southern islands that are cut off from the remaining archipelago since Sunday evening. With hotels unable to replenish provisions, food and water was rationed at many resorts as the spectre of the crisis refused to blow over.
More than 1,400 holidayers, a large number of them from Bengal, are stuck in Havelock and Neil islands for over four days now. The inclement weather that foiled rescue attempts by Indian Navy on Wednesday played spoilsport yet again on Thursday morning when two Andamans administration vessels that set sail for Havelock, 40km away , were forced back after travelling just 3km.
“The situation is grim. With Cyclone Vardah gaining intensity, the rain that seemed to abate in the morning increased in the evening. The Met office has predicted heavy showers for the next 24 hours. Even flight services could get disrupted. Officials in the administration don’t see the possibility of attempting an evacuation till Saturday,” said Denis Giles of ‘Andaman Chronicle’.
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