18:17 GMT27 July 2021
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    An idyllic retreat for snorkeling amid sun, sand and forests on an Indian island has turned into panic because of an imminent cyclonic storm. As commercial ferry services became scarce, India has asked the Navy to deploy vessels for evacuating 800 tourists, mostly foreigners.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India is deploying naval vessels to evacuate 800 people from an island near the Malacca Straits after its meteorological department predicted a cyclonic storm in the next day or two. The local administration has requested the federal government for immediate help to relocate tourists from the Havelock island, a part of India-controlled Abdaman & Nicobar Islamds that abut to the mouth of the Malacca Straits.

    ​Four Indian Navy ships INS Bitra, INS Bangaram, INS Kumbhir and LCU 38 have swung into action to ferry tourists from the rain-ravaged island to the main town of Port Blair. The Skymet Weather Services has forecast heavier rainfall in the coming days and warned that it could hamper rescue operations. A local official also confirmed that the heavy sea tides, due to a massive depression in the Bay of Bengal, has made the rescue operation difficult, but tourists' safety has been given the highest priority.

    ​Havelock Island is the largest of the islands that comprise Ritchie's Archipelago, a chain of islands to the east of Great Andaman in the Andaman Islands. It is one of the most preferred snorkelling destinations in India.




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