IAF, Navy aircraft, ships on standby for cyclone Tauktae


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has kept 16 transport aircraft and 18 helicopters on operational readiness in peninsular India in preparation for cyclone Tauktae, which is expected to cause very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall along the western coast in the next few days. The Navy has also put ships, aircraft and helicopters on standby in coordination with district administration, a Navy official said.

“One IL-76 aircraft has airlifted 127 personnel and 11 tonnes of cargo from Bhatinda to Jamnagar. A C-130 aircraft has airlifted 25 personnel and 12.3 tonnes cargo from Bhatinda to Rajkot. Two C-130 aircraft have airlifted 126 personnel and 14 tonnes cargo from Bhubaneswar to Jamnagar,” an IAF statement said on Saturday.

In addition, the IAF said COVID relief operations have been focused in these coastal areas for the coming few days, as bad weather is likely to affect air operations later. The cyclone relief operations are in addition to those underway for COVID relief, it added.

According to the Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), the cyclone in Arabian Sea is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and further intensify into very severe cyclone storm late hours of May 15 or early hours of May 16. It is likely to move north-northwest and cross between Porbander and Naliya on May 18, IFC-IOR said on social media.

Oxygen transport

On the ongoing transportation of emergency oxygen and other medical supplies, both within the country and from abroad, the IAF said that as on Saturday morning domestically it had carried out 778 sorties accumulating 1,147 hours and airlifted 490 tankers with 8,343 MT capacity and 209 MT of other equipment.

In the international sorties, the IAF has so far carried out 130 sorties accumulating 633 hours and transported 104 containers with 872 MT as well as 352 MT of other equipment.

Under the Navy’s Operation Samudrra Setu-II, which saw nine ships deployed to ferry emergency oxygen and other medical supplies from friendly foreign countries, the Landing Platform Dock (LPD) INS Jalashwa arrived in Singapore. “It will be carrying back oxygen tanks, cylinders and other equipment to India. Efforts to fight COVID in India continue,” the Navy said on social media.

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