INS Airavat will provide support in the relief operations in the flood-hit Madagascar. Photo courtesy: Indian Navy
INS Airavat a large amphibious ship was on a mission-based deployment near Seychelles, sources said and it is expected to reach Madagascar by January 30.
Indian Navy on January 28 launched ‘Operation Vanilla’ in support of the national disaster in flood-hit Madagascar and diverted a large amphibious ship to provide assistance.“INS Airavat, which was mission deployed has been diverted for the same,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.Madagascar has been hit by a cyclone and there has been heavy flooding and landslips since last week causing loss of lives and displacement of a number of people. According to reports, more than 92,000 people have been affected.On Twitter, the President of Madagascar has requested international mobilisation.“As the first respondent, it has been decided to immediately divert INS Airavat, enroute to Seychelles, to Madagascar. The ship is carrying five pallets each of victualing, clothing and naval stores along with three pallets of medicines,” official sources said. It is expected to reach Madagascar by January 30.With the on board stores, the ship can provide clothing, emergency food, temporary shelters, medical assistance, carry out transportation and evacuation of personnel using four large and two medium sized boats, diving and communication assistance, officials stated.“In this time of national disaster, we stand in solidarity with Madagascar.… Our thoughts and prayers are you with the people of Madagascar,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter. The Indian Navy has already launched Op Vanilla to provide support in the relief operations, he added.Of late, the Indian Navy has been the first responder for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indian Ocean Region.