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Tamil Nadu Floods: Armed Forces power rescue and relief efforts (WATCH)

The Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and Indian Coast Guard have mobilized ground and aerial teams, including helicopters and aircraft, to assist in relief operations. Over 100 stranded individuals have been moved to safer locations, with a focus on pregnant women

Tamil Nadu Floods: Armed Forces power rescue and relief efforts (WATCH)
First Published Dec 20, 2023, 9:35 AM IST

Amidst heavy rains lashing South Tamil Nadu since Monday, the Indian armed forces have been deployed to carry out rescue and evacuation mission in the districts of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Kanniyakumari. Tamil Nadu Governor N Ravi called an emergency meeting of officers from defence and central government departments to assess the situation in the state. On Tuesday, Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to deploy more helicopters in rescue and relief efforts. 

Indian Navy: In support of the local administration, the Indian Naval ground and aerial rescue and relief teams have been augmenting the flood relief operations. The operations are being carried out by using naval helicopters and aircraft deployed from local units -- INS Parandu and INS Kattabomman. The naval force has moved over 100 stranded persons to safer locations. Among them, 17 were evacuated by the advanced landing helicopter deployed from INS Parandu. Of them, three were pregnant ladies.

Indian Naval Dornier aircraft was deployed from Chennai for transportation of approx 400 kgs of relief material to Tuticorin airport, followed by onward distribution and airdrop by Chetak helicopters from INS Parundu. The materials were provided by the State government. The naval team has also transferred 3500 kgs of relief material from Rameshwaram to Madurai.

“Indian Navy under aegis of HQ Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area is continuously providing assistance & augmenting the relief efforts as required by the State Administration,” Indian Navy PRO Commander Vivek Madhwal said.

Indian Air Force: The IAF has deployed deployed Medium Lift Helicopters (MLH) and Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv for rescue and relief efforts. The helicopters are operating from Madurai in coordination with the civil authorities for rescue and supply drops. A Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the IAF rescued four stranded persons in the morning today; they included a pregnant woman and an infant aged a year and a half, IAF PRO Wing Commander Ashish Moghe said.

Indian Coast Guard: ICG has deployed six Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs) for the operations. The MK Stalin government sought assistance for the rescue of stranded citizens and the supply of relief material to the local population in the flood-affected areas.  The force deployed its Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) with an integral helicopter onboard has been also deployed to monitor the situation in coastal areas of Tuticorin and to respond to any eventuality at sea and shore locations.

"Consequent to the closure of Tuticorin airport, the Indian Coast Guard is augmenting its assets in the area by positioning a fixed-wing Dornier aircraft and an ALH helicopter at Madurai to support rescue and relief efforts in flood-affected areas, including transportation of key NDRF personnel from Chennai," ICG PRO said.

In the interim, a Rescue Diver team with paddle boats, Kayaks and one Disaster Relief Team from Coast Guard Station Mandapam have been sent to Tuticorin to assist in rescue efforts.

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