Published: August 10, 2018 8:56:36 pm
55 people have so far been evacuated from flood-hit areas in Kerala by the Navy in its ‘Operation Madad’ to assist the state government, following heavy rains and release of excess water from many dams. The operation, launched by Southern Naval Command (SNC) since yesterday, continued on Friday.
Two teams with Gemini boats commenced rescue operations at Kalpetta, Wayanad and at Panmarum (13 km south of Mananthavady), where they evacuated 55 stranded people till 12 noon today, a defence press release said. Another team was airlifted by a Seaking Helicopter to Kalpetta with all gear and two electric generators, which was requested by Wayanad District Collector.
Three additional diving teams have also been dispatched to Aluva in coordination with the Deputy Collector for utilization by the District Collector in affected areas to augment the rescue, the release said. One of the team is likely to be deployed at Idukki. This is in addition to the two diving teams on standby at Aluva for relief operations since yesterday in anticipation of flooding expected in Ernakulam and Aluva, it said.
In all four diving teams have been deployed in Wayanad and five at Aluva. One contingent of 50 men, fully equipped for any kind of assistance, has been positioned at Naval Armament Depot, Aluva. In addition, the Naval Hospital, INHS Sanjivani is ready to render medical aid as required and all preparations towards setting up community kitchen by naval personnel from INS Venduruthy have been made in case the need arises
Naval helicopters are also being deployed to ferry divers, power tools, axes and relief material to flooded areas to augment ongoing relief operations, it said. Earlier, a defence spokesperson said the Navy had put SNC on alert in view of the rising water level in Periyar river in Kerala and possible inundation of parts of Wellingdon Island, surrounded by the backwaters of Kochi.
He said the Navy has made preparations to meet any situation arising out of possible inundation of the island, said to be the largest artificial island in India, following the opening of shutters of three dams of Cheruthoni, Idamalayar and Kakki.
The Wellingdon Island, part of Kochi city, houses strategic facilities, including SNC and Cochin Port Trust.
The water level will rise in downstream districts with the released excess water from the dams reaching there. The spokesperson said three contingents (50 men each) from INS Dronacharya, Venduruthy and Naval Air station INS Garuda were ready to be deployed as and when required, besides a medical team from INHS Sanjivani.
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