Indian Navy rescues people in cyclone-hit Bangladesh

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New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) The Indian Navy on Wednesday rushed two ships for relief and rescue operations in cyclone-hit Bangladesh, even as it continues relief operations in Sri Lanka.

Navy Chief Sunil Lanba said the Indian Navy had received a request for aid from Bangladesh and was prepared to respond to any humanitarian crisis in the Indian Ocean Region.

Navy spokesman, Captain D.K. Sharma said that INS Sumitra is already deployed and has rescued 33 Bangladeshis who were washed off the shore by the cyclone.

According to Navy officials, INS Sumitra was deployed off the Bangladesh coast when the crew spotted people floating and jumped in action to rescue them.

A P8-I maritime surveillance aircraft also scanned the area to ensure there were no more people in the waters.

Another ship INS Ghariyal left Visakhapatnam at 2 p.m. on Wednesday with relief material, and will reach Bangladesh on Thursday.

At the sidelines of a seminar here, Admiral Lanba said: “Today (Wednesday) morning we received a request from Bangladesh. We had one ship deployed off the coast of Bangladesh. She is already involved in the rescue of people… The second ship has sailed from Visakhapatnam with relief material.”

He said the Indian Navy was ready to handle all kinds of disaster response in the Indian Ocean Region.

“As severe weather phenomena are only to increase, each ship has an intrinsic capability of HADR (high availability disaster recovery). We are prepared for it.

“It will cover the wider Indian Ocean but there is a timeline within which you have to reach,” he said.

The search and rescue operation in Bangladesh is taking place south of Chittagong. Cyclone Mora had earlier caused havoc in Sri Lanka, killing at least 180.

“One of the rescued men had no pulse or heart beat but was revived and is currently on ventilator on board the ship,” a Navy official said.

India had sent three ships – INS Kirch, INS Shardul and INS Jalshwa for relief and rescue operations in Sri Lanka along with smaller boats, teams of divers, doctors and medical assistants, medicines, drinking water and other relief material.

–IANS

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