The armed forces have started preparations to mitigate the impact of Cyclone Yaas, which is expected to hit India’s eastern coast on May 26, an official statement said on Sunday.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has airlifted 950 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and 70 tonnes material from Jamnagar, Varanasi, Patna, and Arakonnam to Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Port Blair on 15 transport aircraft, as on Sunday.

Sixteen transport aircraft and 26 helicopters are on standby for immediate deployment.

The Indian Navy, fresh from Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (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 the Andaman and Nicobar Command have been embarked with HADR Bricks to provide succour to the people likely to be impacted.

“Four diving and 10 flood relief columns have been pre-positioned at Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Chilika for rendering assistance to civil administration at short notice,” the Defence Ministry said.

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 ready for immediate deployment on requisition by the civil administration.

The armed forces are also in constant touch with the civil administration of the affected states.

“Armed forces teams are aware of the need to keep the road and rail links open to ensure uninterrupted supply of life saving oxygen and drugs required for treatment at Covid-19 hospitals,” the Ministry said.

“The armed forces remain ready to mitigate the impact of the impending cyclone, save lives and provide succour to the fellow citizens,” it added.

–IANS

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