Of 1,400 travellers stuck at Havelock & Neil Islands, 600 were Bengalis.
Kolkata: A large number of Bengali tourists, stranded in Havelock and Neil Islands due to heavy rain, returned to the city on Saturday after two days.
The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum was full of their relatives.
For those on Havelock and Neil Islands, the vacation had turned into a nightmare as efforts to rescue them by the Navy went in vain due to the adverse weather.
“There were huge waves in the sea and we could see the Navy ships which failed to reach us because of the weather. So, we started panicking as we feared for our lives,” said a person after landing at the city airport.
At least 1400 tourists, including 600 Bengalis, were stranded in the islands due to heavy rain.
A woman said, “The experience was smooth till the arrival of the cyclone, Vardah. The local people disappeared as soon as it started raining heavily. The local administration was so scared that it did not come out to help the tourists.”
There were people who lauded the efforts made by some hotels on the islands to ensure that tourists got food and drinking water. “The people at the hotels at which we were staying made our stay very comfortable. They made sure that there was enough food and drinking water for us. We thank the India Navy and the Indian Air Force for conducting the rescue operation,” said a newly-wed couple who had gone for their honeymoon in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.