Nearly 700 tourists, domestic and foreign, have been stranded in the Havelock Islands of South Andamans since Sunday because the authorities suspended transport services to Port Blair after the weather turned inclement. A cyclonic storm is blowing over the Bay of Bengal.
"All transport-boat, catamaran, helicopter and sea-plane -had to be cancelled. The sea is very rough. Around 700 tourists have been stranded," deputy inspector general of police Anand Mohan told HT on the phone.
The authorities are concerned because the turbulent sea revived memories of the 2004 tsunami, which had hit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
"We arrived at Havelock from Port Blair on December 24 and were supposed to return two days later. But the weather started deteriorating and the sea became very turbulent. Boat services had to be cancelled," said Nirmalya Dutta, a tourist.
The Havelock Islands are 35-40 nautical miles from Port Blair and it takes an hour to reach the place from the latter in fast-moving catamarans.
A helicopter journey takes around 20 minutes. The tourists have started complaining of food scarcity, drinking water shortages and power cuts in the hotels they are lodging in.
"The staff said if the weather continued to be like this for two more days there would be scarcity in food and drinking water supplies," said Subrata Barik, another tourist.