Indian Air Force, Navy join flood relief efforts in Kerala

Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy have joined in the humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operations in Kerala, where heavy rainfall has led to floods in many  parts and claimed at least 27 lives.
An official press release said the Kerala government had requested IAF to provide urgent assistance in Wayanad for providing relief to the affected people.
"IAF had responded immediately to the crisis and is extending all possible assistance to the people affected by landslides and floods in Kerala through HADR missions," it said.
Five An-32 transport aircraft were deployed to transport NDRF teams and their equipment from Arakkonam to Calicut yesterday. In addition, two NDRF teams from Vijaywada and two teams of Army Engineering Group from Bangalore and Hyderabad have been transported to Calicut.  
Two Mi-17 V5 helicopters and one Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) has been pressed into service for distribution of relief material and winching operations. 
Yesterday, three persons were winched to safety by IAF helicopters and 300 kg of relief material was dropped for flood affected people. These helicopters continue to be deployed for relief and rescue operations even now and are being tasked as requested by the state administration.
The Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi launched Operation "Madad" yesterday for assisting the state administration.
Based on a request received from Deputy Collector, Wayanad, one diving team with Gemini inflatable boat was airlifted and sent to Kalpetta at 10:00 pm yesterday to undertake rescue operations due to floods and landslides.
“Operation Madad” continued today with all resources available with SNC. Two teams with Gemini boats commenced rescue operations at Kalpetta, Wayanad and at Panmarum (13 km south of Mananthavady) where they evacuated 55 stranded people till 12:00 noon today.
Another team has been air lifted by Seaking Helicopter to Kalpetta with all gears and two electric generators which were requested by Wayanad District Collector. Three additional diving teams have also been dispatched to Aluva in coordination with the Deputy Collector for utilization by District Collector in  the affected areas for augmenting the rescue efforts.
One of the teams is likely to be deployed at Idukki.  This is in addition to the two diving teams on stand by at Aluva for relief operations since yesterday in anticipation of flooding expected in Ernakulam and Aluva. In all, four diving teams are deployed in Wayanad and five at Aluva.
One 50-man contingent is positioned at Naval Armament Depot (NAD) Aluva fully equipped for any kind of assistance. In addition, the Naval Hospital, INHS Sanjivani is ready for rendering medical assistance as required and all preparations towards setting up community kitchen by naval personnel from INS Venduruthy have been made in case the need arises.
Naval helicopters are also being deployed for ferrying divers, power tools, axes and relief material to the flooded areas to augment ongoing relief operations, the release added.

(Our News Desk can be contacted at

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