Cyclone Phailin: Defence ministry sends 4 helicopters to evacuate stranded

New Delhi: With the focus now shifting from disaster mitigation of cyclone to flood relief, the defence ministry today said it has pressed four helicopters into service to evacuate the marooned local population as well as to drop relief materials to Phailin hit areas.

 Cyclone Phailin: Defence ministry sends 4 helicopters to evacuate stranded

Cyclone Phailin. Reuters image

The choppers were pressed into service in Balasore, Odisha. The composite army columns comprising engineer and Infantry personnel have also relocated and moved towards Balasore, Ganjam and Jamshedpur to assist the authorities in flood relief operations.

The Navy has flown two aircraft from Kochi to Bhubaneswar carrying rations and also moved 12 tons of rations from Visakhapatnam to Behrampur. The Coast Guard aircraft and helicopters are patrolling the coast regularly and their four patrol vessels are on standby, a defence ministry statement said.

Medical teams of the three services and Coast Guard which have been deployed are providing medical assistance to local population.

Defence officials said the overall Force Commander at Bhubaneswar along with his task force Commanders for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard are in constant liaison with the state governments.

Necessary coordination on allocation of resources is being carried out at the Defence Crisis Management Group (DCMG) at Delhi. Representatives of the state governments, NDMA and NDRF who are attending the DCMG meetings are giving regular updates. This is facilitating the decision making body to coordinate the operations without any loss of time, defence official said.

Meanwhile the Indian Air Force (IAF) also launched four Mi-17 V5 helicopters from Barrackpore, an Eastern Air Command (EAC) airbase, towards relief and rescue operations in areas adjoining Balasore and Chandipur in Odisha today.

PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 14, 2013 21:34:12 IST