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Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Indian ships, aircraft widen search for missing Malaysian aircraft to Bay of Bengal

India has widened the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, which disappeared from the radars early on Saturday while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people board, to the Bay of Bengal at the request of the Malaysian government.

 
India has widened the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, which disappeared from the radars early on Saturday while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people board, to the Bay of Bengal at the request of the Malaysian government.
 
An official press release said here today that the Malaysian authorities had requested for the extension of the search to the Bay of Bengal in area of about 9000 sq km (15 km x 600 km).
 
"This area is approximately 900 km due west of Port Blair. Search in this area would be undertaken by the resources of Eastern Naval Command," it said.
 
Earlier, the Government had deployed assets of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Indian Air Force in a coordinated search of the area in South Andaman Sea for the missing airliner, which also had five Indians and a Canadian of Indian origin among its passengers.
 
Indian Navy has been nominated as the lead service for the coordination of the operation. The joint effort is being coordinated from Maritime Operations Centre of the Indian Navy in New Delhi.
 
The release said specific areas had been allocated by the Malaysian authorities for search by Indian ships and aircraft. Presently, two ships of Indian Navy, INS Saryu and INS Kumbhir, are combing the designated areas in South Andaman Sea.
Hunt for missing jet spreads to Indian Ocean
 
INS Kesari has replaced INS Kumbhir at around 1500h today for the search as it is also carrying an integral helicopter.  In addition, two Coast Guard vessels are also carrying out search along the coastline. Two Dornier aircraft of Indian Navy and Coast Guard are also carrying out aerial search in the vicinity of the Andaman coastline.
 
The Joint Operations Room at Port Blair has been activated to monitor the progress of the search operations. The Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command has been nominated as the Overall Force Commander of the Indian Forces.
 
 
The Boeing B777-200 ER aircraft, operating flight MH370, was reported missing off the Vietnamese coast around 0240 hours Malaysian time on Saturday. 
 
The plane had departed from Kuala Lumpur at 1241 Saturday morning and was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30 am local Beijing time on the same day.
 
Over the past five days, a lot of information has been thrown up, but most of them have turned out to be false leads and a massive search operation, involving ships and aircraft from several countries, has not found any trace of the missing aircraft. India is the latest country to have joined the search efforts in its territorial waters.
 
Malaysian police have said they are looking at all kinds of possibilities, including terrorism, hijacking, sabotage, mechanical failure and passengers or crew members with personal or psychological problems.
 
The airline has deployed teams of caregivers in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, consisting of its trained staff and volunteers from NGOs to take care of families of the passengers and crew of the aircraft.
 
Over the past four days, the search and rescue teams have expanded the scope of their operations beyond the flight path to the West Peninsula of Malaysia at the Straits of Malacca. 
 
"The authorities are looking at a possibility of an attempt made by MH370 to turn back to Subang. All angles are being looked at. We are not ruling out any possibilities," the airline had said in a statement on Tuesday.
 
The last known position of MH370 before it disappeared off the radar was 065515 North (longitude) and 1033443 East (latitude).
 
The search and rescue mission has been joined by teams from countries such as Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, the United States of America and now India.
 
Apart from the search in the sea, search on land in between these areas is also being conducted.
 
The airline said the aircraft, was carrying a total of 239 people, comprising 227 passengers (including two infants) and 12 members of crew. 
 
According to the manifest, the Indians on the flight were identified as: Mr Vinod Kolekar, 59; Ms Chetana Kolekar, 55; Mr Swanand Kolekar, 23; Ms Chandrika Sharma, 51; and Mr Kranti Shirsath, 44. The list also includes a Canadian of Indian origin, Mr Muktesh Mukherjee, 42.
 
The passengers are of 14 different nationalities. All crew on board are Malaysians.
 
The passengers include 153 from China/Taiwan (including one infant), 38 from Malaysia, 5 Indians, 7 Indonesians, 6 Australians, four from France, three (including an infant) from the United States, two each from Ukraine, Canada and New Zealand, and one each from Russia, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria.
 
The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a Malaysian aged 53 with total flying hours of 18,365hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981. First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, a Malaysian, 27, has total flying hours of 2,763 hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007.
 
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The families of passengers may contact +603 7884 1234 (Kuala Lumpur) / +8610 6437 6249 (Beijing), the airline said.
 
Among the latest theories is one that suggests that the aircraft could have been deliberately flown across the Malay peninsula towards the Andaman Islands by someone with aviation training, hundreds of km from its intended flight path.
 
Malaysia Airlines did not give out any new information today, except to say that it would continue to cooperate with the search and rescue mission being coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation under the Ministry of Transport.
 
"Malaysia Airlines is fully aware of the on-going media speculations and we have nothing further to add to the information we have already provided," it said.
 
"The aircraft is still missing, and the search area is expanding," Malaysia's acting Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
 
"We are now pushing further into the South China Sea, and further into Indian Ocean," he said.
 
Mr Hussein said as many as 57 ships and 48 aircraft from 13 countries were involved in the search efforts. "Our priority remains finding the plane," he said.
 
He said investigating teams would not release any information until it had been properly verified and corroborated.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Islands region in the early hours of today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 11.8°N and longitude 92.4°E, occurred at 0217 hours at a focal depth of 28 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Moderate earthquake shakes Andaman Sea region

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Sea region this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 11.4°N and longitude 95.0°E, occurred at 0846 hours today at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
Earlier today, an earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Islands region.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 13.3°N and longitude 93.2°E, occurred at 0607 hours today at a focal depth of 25 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Islands region in the early hours of today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 13.3°N and longitude 93.2°E, occurred at 0607 hours today at a focal depth of 25 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Mukherjee condoles passing away of former MP Manoranjan Bhakta

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President Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the passing away of veteran Congress leader Manoranjan Bhakta, an eight-time member of the Lok Sabha from Andaman & Nicobar Islands, who passed away in Kolkata on June 12.
 
Mr Bhakta, 76, passed away at his daughter's residence in Kolkata in the evening of June 12 after a prolonged illness.
 
“I am sad to learn about the passing away of your husband, Shri Manoranjan Bhakta," Mr Mukherjee said in a message to Mrs Shanti Bhakta.
 
Mr Mukherjee said Mr Bhakta was a veteran Parliamentarian who understood the pulse of the people. 
 
"In his long public career, he made important contributions towards the welfare of the people, particularly that of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. His services to the nation as a former Parliamentarian and social worker will always be remembered," he said.
 
Lt. Gen. A K Singh(Retd.), the Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, also condoled the death of Mr Bhakta.
 
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Moderate earthquake rocks Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Islands region late last night, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here today.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 14.1°N and longitude 93.5°E, occurred at 2359 hours yesterday at a focal depth of 38 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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South-west monsoon likely to set over Kerala on May 30: IMD

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The India Meterological Department (IMD) today said the south-west monsoon was likely to set over Kerala on May 30 with a model error of +/- 4 days.
 
The onset of south-west monsoon over Kerala signals the arrival of monsoon over the Indian sub-continent and represents beginning of rainy season over the region.
 
A press release from IMD said the advance of the south-west mnsoon over the Andaman sea normally takes place around May 20 with a standard deviation of about one week.
 
"During the last few days, enhanced convection and increased rainfall activity has been observed over the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The cross equatorial flow is likely to strengthen and deepen over the area. As such, conditions are becoming favourable for advance of southwest monsoon over the Andaman Sea and adjoining sea areas during the next 3-4 days. 
 
"Past data suggests absence of any one to one association of the date of monsoon advance over Andaman Sea with the date of monsoon onset over Kerala or that with the seasonal monsoon rainfall over the country," it said.
 
From 2005 onwards, the Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO) in the Ministry of Earth Sciences and the IMD have been issuing operational forecasts for the date of monsoon onset over Kerala using an indigenously developed statistical model, which uses six predictors.
 
These are i) Minimum Temperature over North-west India, ii) Pre-monsoon rainfall peak over south Peninsula, iii) Outgoing Long wave Radiation (OLR) over south China Sea, (iv) Lower tropospheric zonal wind over southeast Indian ocean, (v) upper tropospheric zonal wind over the east equatorial Indian Ocean, and (vi) Outgoing Long wave Radiation (OLR) over south-west Pacific region.
 
The release said the operational forecasts for the event issued during all the last nine years were correct.
 
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Moderate earthquake rocks Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale, rocked the Andaman Islands region this afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 10.8°N and longitude 92.0°E, ocurred at 1428 hours at a focal dpeth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
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Moderate earthquake recorded in Andaman Sea

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Andaman Sea region this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 12.9°N and longitude 95.4°E, occurred at 0528 hours today at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Moderate earthquake rocks Andaman Islands

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, rocked the Andaman Islands this morning, a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 14.2°N and longitude 92.9°E, occurred at 0419 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin added.
 
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Air India introduces direct flight from Visakhapatnam to Port Blair

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National carrier Air India today introduced a direct flight from the coastal city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
 
The airline already connects Port Blair to Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bhubaneswar.
 
A press release from the airline said the new flight was in addition to its daily direct flights on the Kolkata - Port Blair sector with an A319; Chennai - Port Blair with A321 aircraft; between Delhi - Visakhapatnam with an A321 aircraft and another flight between Delhi and Port Blair via Bhubaneswar twice a week with a CRJ-700 aircraft.
 
"This flight will help capacity addition to this tourist destination. The direct flight will be a time saver for travel between Visakhapatnam and Port Blair and give a fillip to tourism and industry at both the places," the release said.
 
Earlier passengers wanting to travel between these two places had to either take the sea route or travel through other metros involving a night stay.
 
The flight AI487/488 will operate with an all economy 168 seater A320 aircraft. The flight will operate on the route Delhi - Visakhapatnam - Port Blair and back, two days a week on Mondays and Thursdays. 
 
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Flight AI487 will leave Delhi at 0700 hrs and land at Visakhapatnam at 0915 hrs, depart Visakhapatnam 0955 hrs and arrive Port Blair at 1210 hrs. The return flight AI488 will leave Port Blair at 1250 hrs, land at Visakhapatnam at 1505 hrs, depart Visakhapatnam 1550 hrs and reach Delhi at 1805 hrs.
 
Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, is one of the largest cities in Andhra Pradesh and a commercial and financial centre. It is known for its heavy industries, steel plant, seaport, natural harbour and shipyard. The city is also the headquarters to the Eastern Naval Command of the  Indian Navy.
 
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Moderate quake rocks Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Islands region in the early hours of today.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 10.1°N and longitude 93.5°E, occurred at 0021 hours at a focal depth of 70 km, a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
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Moderate earthquake jolts North Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale, jolted the North Andaman Islands region this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 13.2°N and longitude 92.2°E, occurred at 0900 hours at a focal depth of 20 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Nicobar Islands region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, shook the Nicobar Islands region late this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 9.2°N and longitude 93.3°E, occurred at 1943 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Middle Andaman Island region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, shook the Middle Andaman Island region late tonight, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 12.5°N and longitude 92.8°E, occurred at 2359 hours at a focal depth of 50 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake jolts Andaman Islands

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, jolted the Andaman Islands region this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 12.9°N and longitude 92.8°E, occurred at 0559 hours at a focal depth of 38 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake jolts Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Islands region this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 11.0°N and longitude 93.5°E, occurred at 1836 hours at  focal depth of 117 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Nicobar Islands region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale, shook the Nicobar Islands region this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 6.7°N and longitude 94.5°E, occurred at 1830 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Moderate earthquake jolts Great Nicobar Islands

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, shook the Greater Nicobar Islands tonight, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 6.8°N and longitude 94.6°E, occurred at 2011 hours at a focal depth of 35 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded off west coast of Nicobar Islands

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, was recorded off the west coast of Nicobar Islands this morning.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 7.5°N and longitude 94.3°E, occurred at 0806 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Islands region today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 12.1°N and longitude 93.6°E, occurred at 1109 hours at a focal depth of 33 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Moderate earthquake rocks Andaman Islands region

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale, shook the Andaman Islands region this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 12.5°N and longitude 92.8°E, occured at 0648 hours today at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Nicobar Islands region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, shook the Nicobar Islands region this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 7.3°N and longitude 94.4°E, occurred at 1135 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Three earthquakes recorded in Nicobar Islands region

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Three earthquakes -- a moderate one of magnitude 5.4 on the Richter scale and two minor ones measuring 4.8 and 4.6 -- shook the Nicobar Islands region today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The first quake occurred at 0855 hours, with its epicentre at latitude 7.4°N and longitude 94.4°E, at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
The second tremor had its epicentre at latitude 6.8°N and longitude 95.0°E and occurred at 1136 hours at a depth of 10 km.
 
The third one came six minutes later. It had its epicentre at latitude 7.1°N and longitude 94.1°E and occurred at a depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Andaman Sea

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Andaman Sea this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude  7.5°N and longitude 94.5°E, occurred at 1038 hours at a focal depth of 55 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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