Once again the Indian Armed Forces have deployed their personnel and resources to save people from Cyclone Tauktae.
According to the Indian Army, “From various parts of the country Columns and Engineer Task Forces (ETF) have been mobilized to the Western Coast, in anticipation of assisting the civil administration in the rescue and relief operations.”
Adding, “To tide over the impact of the Cyclone, Lt Gen JS Nain, Army Commander Southern Command, has assured the full support of the Army.”
Since the major impact is expected to be in Saurashtra including Union Territory of Diu, the army is sending 10 integrated teams which will be employed for assisting the civil authority in Diu.
Also severe cyclonic storm has been forecasted in coastal areas of Gujarat, units and formations of the Indian Army have prepared themselves with elements of communication and engineer task forces and will be providing relief and assistance.
Sharing details on the plans of the Indian Army, officers said that ten teams have been sent to Junagarh area, and others are in a state of readiness to be sent on short notice. All units are ready and equipped to deal with the impact of heavy rainfall and to coordinate with the local administration.
The GOC of the Army Division which is located at Ahmedabad has already had a meeting which was chaired by the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
And to deal with any medical emergencies, the Indian Army is helping in creating power back-up and other contingencies at the COVID Hospitals located in the affected areas and also at Dhanvantri COVID Hospital in Ahmedabad.
The situation is being monitored on a regular basis for likely intensity, maximum impact areas. The Indian Army is also coordinating relief efforts with Indian Navy, Air Force, NDRF, Indian Coast Guard, Civil Administration, Meteorological Department, and other agencies.
So far 180 teams (three teams in each column), nine Engineer Task Forces (ETFs) are spread over the geographical area and are on a standby ready to deal with all contingencies. They will move at short notice. All the columns will react fast.
According to the Indian Army, the Sector Commanders and Divisional HQ are in regular touch with District Collectors and the Revenue Commissioner. The Revenue Collector is the nodal agency for relief activities in the State of Gujarat.
To ensure fast movement of oxygen in case there is a need plans are in place to clear the routes to the COVID hospitals.
The likely areas of High Impact
Talukas and districts have been identified.
IAF is ready
According to the IAF, 2 C-130J and 1 An-32 aircraft were deployed on May 16, 2021, for transportation of 167 personnel and 16.5 tonnes of NDRF. This flight was from Kolkata to Ahmedabad.
Another transport aircraft An-32 was enroute to Ahmedabad with load.
Also, 121 NDRF personnel and 11.6 tonnes of load from Vijayawada to Ahmedabad was transported on C-130J and 2 An-32 aircraft.
110 personnel and 15 tonnes of cargo for NDRF from Pune to Ahmedabad were transported on 2 C-130J aircraft.
Indian Navy carries out SAR Missions in Arabian Sea
Responding to SOS by an Indian vessel in Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy despatched a naval helicopter early morning on May 17, 2021. This mission was launched to rescue the stranded crew of Indian flagged Tug ‘Coromondel Supporter XI’. This vessel was adrift North West of Mangalore, Karnataka.
According to the Indian Navy, due to the cyclone the machinery compartment was flooded leaving it without any propulsion and power supply. The helicopter rescued personnel and they were transferred to a Coast Guard vessel nearby.
Meanwhile Indian Navy warships are out to offer assistance
INS Kochi is out sailing with dispatch for SAR assistance on receiving a request for assistance for a Barge ‘P305’ adrift off Heera Oil Fields in Bombay High area with 273 personnel onboard.
Also, INS Kolkata has sailed out with dispatch in response to another SOS from Barge ‘GAL Constructor’ with 137 people onboard about 8NM from Mumbai.
Besides INS Talwar is getting ready to sail out, other ships and aircraft are getting ready to carry out HADR and offer assistance to fishing boats/small boats which are stranded due to rough weather. Also, cyclone warnings to fishermen are being given continuously by the Navy’s Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft which are on surveillance.