India reaches out to Sri Lanka, assists in cyclone relief


Reaching out to Sri Lanka following a massive cyclone, India has dispatched military ships and an aircraft with rescue and relief material. The country has witnessed torrential rains and landslides that have resulted in several deaths and massive devastation over the last few days. A tropical cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, Roanu, hit the Sri Lankan coast, causing massive flooding and mudslides. This resulted in dead and displaced over 1,00,0000 families.

“We stand resolutely to help the Government and people of Sri Lanka. Assistance being rushed on emergency basis,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on May 20. Indian Navy ships have been dispatched to provide the relief material.  The Naval Off Shore Patrol (NOPV) INS Sunayna and survey ship INS Sutlej, began sailing from Kochi with 30 to 40 tons of relief material. The relief material includes inflatable rafts, fresh water, medical supplies, clothing and other provisions necessary for disaster relief operations.

“The decision to deploy the ships was taken by the government late in the night, on May 19 in response to the request for assistance from Sri-Lankan government. Both the ships were made ready within six hours after directives were received,” an unnamed Navy official said.

Apart from providing the relief material, the Indian Navy would also be participating in the rescue and relief efforts. Two Dornier aircraft have been kept on standby at Kochi for any emergency requirement. An Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster heavy transport aircraft was sent from Palam Air Force station in Delhi with 60 tons of relief materials along with officials from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

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