The Indian Armed Forces have initiated preparations to lessen the impact of Cyclone Yaas, which is expected to hit the Eastern Coast of the country on May 26, 2021.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has airlifted 950 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and 70 tonnes of load from Jamnagar, Varanasi, Patna and Arakonnam to Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Port Blair in 15 transport aircraft, as of May 23, 2021. Sixteen transport aircraft and 26 helicopters are on standby for immediate deployment.
Today, IAF airlifted 21 tons of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) equipment and 334 personnel of NDRF from Patna and Varanasi to Kolkata and from Arakkonam to Port Blair, utilising five C-130 aircraft. Preparations for the approaching Cyclone Yaas have been ongoing since May 21.
The Indian Navy, fresh off HADR and rescue operations on the Western Coast, has moved 10 HADR pallets to Bhubaneswar and Kolkata, while five HADR pallets are ready at Port Blair. Eight ships of the Eastern Naval Command and Andaman and Nicobar Command have been embarked with HADR Bricks to assist the people likely to be impacted. Four diving and 10 flood relief columns have also been pre-positioned at Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Chilika for helping civil administration at short notice.
Seven flood relief teams and two diving teams are ready at different locations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands to deal with any eventuality.
In addition, Naval Aircraft and helicopters in Vishakhapatnam and Port Blair are on operational readiness to undertake search and rescue missions. Eight flood relief columns and three Engineer Task Forces of the Indian Army are also ready for immediate deployment on requisition by the civil administration. The Armed Forces are in constant touch with the civil administration of the affected states.
Armed Forces teams are aware of the need to keep the road & rail links open to ensure an uninterrupted supply of life-saving oxygen & drugs required for treatment at COVID-19 hospitals. The Armed Forces remain ready to alleviate the impact of the impending cyclone, save lives and provide aid to the citizens.
The IAF has kept one C-17, one IL-76, three C-130s, four An-32s, and two Dornier transport aircraft in readiness for any HADR task. Additionally, eleven Mi-17V5s, two Chetaks, three Cheetahs, two ALH Dhruvs and seven Mi17 helicopters are also on alert for any operations.
Cyclone Yaas is expected to make landfall on West Bengal and the adjoining Odisha coast on Wednesday, May 26.