Eight families from Thane are stuck on Neil Islands in Andamans after it was hit by cyclone Varadh. The Thane regional disaster management cell has established contact with these families, who are safe but stranded at Hotel Amulya.
The eight families, comprising of 24 people, were touring the island and their visit was organised by Dosti Tours and Travels. They had left Thane on December 2. Their presence on the island was first confirmed after the local authorities messaged the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
Santosh Kadam, disaster management officer, Thane, said, “The district disaster management cell contacted us on Thursday night informing that several tourists from Thane are missing. Since we were clueless about the travel agency that had organised the Andamans tour, we called more than 80 travel agencies from in and around Thane. This is how we zeroed in on Dosti Tours. Initially, we couldn’t get through as the phone number provided on their website was incorrect .”
The team then took to Facebook page and Twitter handle to get in touch with the agency, and managed to contact travel co-ordinator Shekhar Parte, who was accompanying the tourists.
“We got his mobile number and contacted the tourists. Parte, along with 24 others, is stranded at the Amulya hotel. They told us the names of the people, and said 200 more tourists are stuck in the same hotel. However, all of them are safe and wished to be rescued and return home safe,” Kadam said.
The TMC has now forwarded the information, along with the contact details of the tourists, to the district authority, which has initiated steps to bring them back safely to the city.