VISHAKAPATNAM: The depression over South East Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a deep
depression during the next 24 hours and into a cyclonic storm in the subsequent 24 hours even as the Indian Navy is engaged in the rescue of almost 1400 tourists stranded in Havelock Island near Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Eastern Naval Command is closely monitoring the situation following an alert from Indian
Four ships were sent from Port Blair to rescue the stranded tourists. But the Navy could not make much progress in evacuating them as the weather turned very rough. There was no update on the fate of the tourists till late in the night.
The depression is currently stationary at 1,180 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam and 260 km west-northwest of Andaman Nicobar islands. It is very likely to intensify into a deep depression in the next 24 hours and a cyclonic storm in the next 48 hours. It is likely to move northwestwards towards Andhra Pradeh in the next three-four days.
The IMD has warned fishermen against venturing into the sea along and off Andaman and Nicobar islands and adjoining areas in the next 48 hours. Under its influence, light to moderate rainfall is very likely at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over Andaman Islands and heavy rainfall at isolated places over Nicobar Islands during the next 12 hrs.
Light to moderate rainfall is also forecast at many places with isolated heavy falls over coastal Andhra
Pradesh from December 11 afternoon. Squally winds are already blowing across the Havelock Island, 55 km from Port Blair. A high level review meeting was held at the Eastern Naval Command to take stock of the situation and rescue the stranded tourists.
Meanwhile, Visakhapatnam District Collector Praveen Kumar reviewed the situation with officials and ordered that no official must go on leave and those who are already on leave should report back to
duty. He directed the officials to keep essential commodities like foodgrains, fuel and battery sets for power generation ready.
The collector also directed the fisheries department to caution fishermen against venturing into the sea and send a communication to those already at sea to return immediately. All the constituency special officers and all the mandal level officials should be available at the mandal headquarters from Thursday morning, he said. A control room was opened at the collectorate with toll free number 1800 425 0001.