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Explained: Measures put in place by IAF, Army to tackle fallout of Cyclone Yaas

Cyclone Yaas: A look at the series of measures which the Army and Indian Air Force have taken to ensure there is a rapid build up of relief material and rescue equipment in the affected areas of Odisha and West Bengal.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina , Edited by Explained Desk | Chandigarh |
Updated: May 26, 2021 2:09:52 pm
Army column on standby in West Bengal for Cyclone Yaas relief efforts. (Express Photo)

Civil and military authorities have made widespread arrangements to tackle the impact of Cyclone Yaas, which made landfall in Odisha Wednesday morning and brought heavy rainfall to West Bengal.

A look at the series of measures which the Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) have taken to ensure there is a rapid build-up of relief material and rescue equipment in the affected areas.

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What have been the preparations by the IAF for tackling the fallout of Cyclone Yaas?

The IAF has been conducting operations since May 21 in preparation for Cyclone Yaas. It airlifted 21 tonnes of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) equipment and 334 personnel of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) from Patna and Varanasi to Kolkata, and from Arakkonam to Port Blair, utilising five C-130 aircraft.

In a matter of a few days, the IAF had also airlifted 606 personnel.

The IAF has kept one C-17, one IL-76, three C-130s, four An-32s and two Dornier transport aircraft on readiness for HADR task. Additionally, 11 Mi-17V5 helicopters, two Chetak helicopters, three Cheetahs, 2 ALH Dhruvs and seven Mi17 helicopters are also on alert for any eventuality.

What measures have been put in place by the Army in West Bengal for relief operations?

The Indian Army’s Eastern Command is spearheading the Army’s response for rescue and relief operations in West Bengal. The deployment of Army columns is based on requisition, and is in close coordination with the Government of West Bengal.

A total of 17 integrated Cyclone Relief Columns, comprising specialised personnel with associated equipment and inflatable boats, have been deployed. Columns have been prepositioned at Purulia, Jhargram, Birbhum, Bardhaman, West Midnapur, Howrah, Hoogly, Nadia, 24 Parganas North and South.

At least nine Cyclone Relief Columns have also been kept on standby in Kolkata, for redeployment as necessary in West Bengal, at short notice.

These teams are equipped to undertake rescue and relief operations to include casualty evacuation of stranded/marooned persons, medical treatment, road clearing/tree cutting and distribution of relief material, as would be required by the local district administration.

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What have been the most recent relief efforts by IAF for Cyclone Yaas?

To assist the NDRF, the IAF on May 25 airlifted one C-130 and two An-32 aircraft with 102 passengers and 4.5 tonnes of cargo from Arakonnam to Kalaikunda.

Another C-130 airlifted 62 passengers and 6.8 tonnes of cargo from Lilabari to Kolkata.

In addition, two IAF An-32 aircraft have been deployed for airlifting 41 passengers and four tonnes of cargo from Lilabari to Panagarh.

Also, in order to provide immediate support to people in the emerging situation, briefing, joint recce, liaison and coordination with West Bengal government has been completed.

Now that the affects of the Cyclone are being felt on land what new measures have been taken?

At East Midnapore in West Bengal, one rescue column has been launched to rescue 32 civilians who are stuck due to surge in water levels. Two columns are deployed at Nadia and West Midnapore and two more at Purulia and West Burdhman. There are two columns at Jhargram and Bankura, one column at Birbhum, and two columns at Howrah and Kolkata Port.

In addition, there are two columns at North and South 24 Parganas, three columns at Kolkata East, central and East Midnapore, one column for Kolkata South, one column at Hooghly and one column at Behala (Kolkata).

In Odisha, three columns and one Engineer Task Force has been stationed at Balasore.

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