With severe cyclone Yaas set to make landfall on the Eastern coast on May 26, the Army and Navy deployed relief and diving teams in West Bengal in coordination with the local administration. In addition, the Navy and Coast Guard have also kept ships and aircraft on standby.
As part of the preparations in West Bengal, the Navy said two Navy diving teams and five Flood Relief Teams (FRT), comprising specialised Navy personnel with associated equipment and inflatable boats, have been deployed to the State.
“In addition, one diving and two FRT each have been positioned at Digha and Frazerganj on May 23 and 24 respectively. One FRT has been kept on standby at Diamond Harbour, for redeployment as necessary, at short notice,” it said in a statement.
These teams are equipped to undertake casualty evacuation of stranded and marooned personal, road clearing and tree cutting operations, and distribution of relief material, as would be required by the local district administration, the Navy said.
In addition, the Indian Navy is also positioning Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) material for about 500 people at its depot centre at Kolkata, for subsequent distribution if required, in the aftermath of the Cyclone, it stated. “Four Naval ships, loaded with HADR material, medical teams and additional diving teams, would also closely follow the Cyclone and be available for rendering further assistance.”
Naval helicopters from onboard the Navy ships, medium-range maritime patrol aircraft at Visakhapatnam as well as long range maritime patrol aircraft at Arrakkonam in Tamil Nadu are also standby for deployment at short notice in the aftermath of the cyclone for casualty evacuation, aerial survey and airdrop of relief material, based on requests from the State Government, as required, the Navy added.
17 Army columns
The Army said that 17 integrated cyclone relief columns, comprising specialised personnel with associated equipment and inflatable boats, have been deployed in West Bengal. “Columns have been prepositioned at Purulia, Jhargram, Birbhum, Bardhaman, West Midnapur, Howrah, Hoogly, Nadia, 24 Parganas North and South,” the Army said.
Nine relief columns have also been kept on standby at Kolkata, for redeployment as necessary to undertake necessary rescue and relief operations as would be required by the local district administration, the Army stated.