India has despatched four warships loaded with hundreds of tonnes of essential supplies, including food and medicines, and a helicopter to Mozambique to help people affected by a cyclone that tore through the southern African country last month.
The Indian personnel have rescued more than 200 people and provided medical aid to nearly 1,500 at medical camps set up in areas affected by Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique on March 14 and caused widespread destruction and claimed more than 500 lives.
Responding to a request from the Mozambique government, India immediately diverted three warships – INS Sujata and INS Shardul of the navy and Sarathi of the Coast Guard – to the port city of Beira for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. The India Navy became the first responder to the evolving crisis.
The warships were later joined by INS Magar, an amphibious warfare vessel, which carried essential relief materials, including 500 kg of epidemic-related medicines, 400 tonnes of rice, ready-to-eat meals, clothing, repair and rehabilitation equipment and temporary shelters. The supplies are adequate to cater to about 1,000 people for a week.
The Magar is also equipped with a Chetak light helicopter that has made numerous sorties for aerial surveys by disaster management officials, evacuation of people and dropping food and water packets.
The Indian helicopter crew has come in for particular praise from local NGOs; with the administrator of the Facebook page Moz Info writing in a post: “…I must make a special mention of the Indian Navy pilots! These boys are flying an ANCIENT Alouette III and they are flying her to shreds!!
“They are constantly in the air carrying supplies and airlifting casualties. Their ground crew drills are slick, polished and disciplined and stand out head and shoulders above other military crews,” the post added. The Indian personnel have also been providing fresh water to relief camps, clearing debris and repairing damaged roads.
Apr 05, 2021 20:20 IST