Navy evacuates 38 stranded Indians from Yemen

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New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Indian Navy on Sunday evacuated 38 stranded Indians from Socotra island in Yemen where they got stuck after a cyclone hit the area 10 days ago, forcing India to launch an operation to rescue them. All are reported to be safe.

The Navy evacuated the Indians as part of operation ‘NISTAR’ carried out off the coast of Socotra early on Sunday and embarked them at Indian Naval ship INS Sunya to bring them back to India, a Navy spokesperson said.

“INS Sunya pressed into action to evacuate the 38 Indian nationals from Socotra. The evacuated Indians were … immediately provided with medical care, food, water and telephone facilities to call and reassure their families. All have been reported to be safe. Post evacuation, the ship would be proceeding towards Porbandar,” he said.

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A severe cyclonic strom Mekenu crossed the Yemeni Island of Socotra on May 24, leaving 38 Indians stranded on the island with limited food and water.

The Navy deployed INS Sunya in Western Arabian Sea for the humanitarian and disaster relief operation just after it received a distress call from the Directorate General of Shipping and the Indian Sailing Vessels Association.

“We got information that three Indian Dhows — a lateen rigged ship with one or two masts — at Socotra suffered damages and sank alongside in the harbour after the cyclone hit the area,” said the official.

“As we got the inputs about another Dhow, MSV Safina Al Khijar, with 12 Indians on board missing, the Indian Navy undertook two aerial sorties on May 27 and 28 to search for the missing Indians,” he added.

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