THE Indian Air Force (IAF) and Navy have mobilised their assets for various emergency response measures in view of Cyclone Tauktae, which is moving along the western coast of India.
The IAF has deployed its various transport assets for airlift of rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the cargo required for its rescue missions. The IAF had on Sunday deployed two C-130J and one An-32 transport aircraft for airlift of 167 personnel and 16.5 tonne of rescue equipment of the NDRF from Kolkata to Ahmedabad, the Ministry of Defence has said.
Another C-130J and two An-32 aircraft carried 121 NDRF personnel and 11.6 tonne of load from Vijayawada to Ahmedabad and two C-130J aircraft transported 110 personnel and 15 tonnes of cargo for NDRF from Pune to Ahmedabad. These operations continued on Monday in addition to the IAF’s ongoing missions to transport Covid relief supplies.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday took a review of the emergency relief efforts and preparedness of the armed forces in assisting the states and administration in dealing with Cyclone Tauktae.
Meanwhile, Indian Navy’s 11 diving teams have been kept on standby and ready for deployment in case of any request from state authorities. Further, 12 flood rescue teams and medical teams have also been earmarked for immediate response and deployment.
Repair and rescue teams have also been formed to undertake urgent infrastructural repairs post cyclone, if required, the MoD said on Monday. Various ships along the Western seaboard are on standby with aid and relief material for immediate assistance to affected areas as required and to provide assistance to fishing boats or small boats stranded due to rough weather. Navy’s Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft on surveillance are continuously broadcasting cyclone warnings to fishermen.
In a swift response to SOS by an Indian vessel adrift in Arabian Sea, a naval helicopter was dispatched early morning on Monday, for rescuing the stranded crew of Indian flagged Tug named ‘Coromondel Supporter IX’, which was adrift north-west of Mangalore. Rough seas, due to cyclone Tauktae, had resulted in flooding of the vessel’s machinery compartments, rendering it without propulsion and power supply, and the crew without any support. In the operation by Indian Navy helicopter, four crew members were rescued safely.
In another incident, on receipt of a request for assistance for a Barge P305 adrift off Heera Oil Fields in Bombay High area with 273 personnel onboard, INS Kochi was swiftly sent to assess the situation and render assistance, as required. INS Talwar is also preparing to sail out. In response to another SOS received from Barge ‘GAL Constructor’ with 137 people onboard about eight nautical miles from Mumbai, INS Kolkata has also been sailed to render assistance, the MoD said.