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Indian navy ship INS Jalashwa set off for Kochi today on its journey from Maldives

It is expected to reach Kochi by Sunday morning. The ship is making its second trip back home from Maldives as part of Samudra setu mission for evacuation of Indian nationals from foreign countries. The weather remained turbulent in Maldives since morning and some passengers, scheduled to reach Male from far off islands could not reach to board the ship. It was to originally carry around 700 people back.  The travelling passengers include 70 ladies, six of them pregnant and 21 children.  Embarkation of passengers was carried out in advance amidst inclement weather in Male and adhering to all safety precautions.  The pre-embarkation activities had begun since early morning and people were ferried from different points of Male to the airport where emigration and medical checkup were carried out. Later, some pre-embarkation formalities had to be carried out onboard due to rough weather.  Local youth volunteers were enrolled and several agencies of Maldives government provided their valuable assistance to make it a smooth affair.  The ship had earlier brought back 698 Indian nationals to Kochi on Sunday. Another ship INS Magar had reached Kochi on Sunday with 202 Indian nationals.

 Indian high commission in Male has said that Air India evacuation flights are being planned to cities of New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai for residents of other states except Kerala. The high commission said that priority would be given to those facing deportation by Maldives government, medical emergency, pregnant women, elderly, stranded tourists and people affected by family emergencies like deaths.

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