Indian Navy rescued nearly 17,000 Keralites from floods
The Indian Navy rescued nearly 17,000 people caught in gushing waters in flood-ravaged Kerala, a Defense spokesperson said today. Navy personnel part of the rescue mission code-named "Operation Madad" in Kerala displayed their skills and courage in rescuing thousands of people, Commander Sridhar Warrier, the spokesperson in Kochi, said. He said deployment of teams to inaccessible areas was mostly done by airlift. Here's more.
In all, the Indian Navy rescued a total of 16,843 people, of which 1,173 were airlifted while 15,670 were rescued by teams using Gemini boats after Kerala experienced unprecedented rainfall, which resulted in widespread flooding.
Warrier said an efficient Command, Control, and Logistics Organization of the Southern Naval Command (SNC), coordinated by Joint Operation Centre (JOC), ensured personnel deployed in the worst-hit areas were utilized efficiently to rescue the maximum number of people. "Such was their efficiency that in fact, no deaths by drowning were reported in any area where Naval teams systematically organized their rescue efforts," he said.
SNC Headquarters also coordinated with the Air Force headquarters for the airlift of personnel from Mumbai and Visakhapatnam to Kochi. Based on inputs from the state administration, and feedback from the teams on the ground, careful planning of the utilization of resources available with the Command was done and teams were deployed in the general areas where distress calls were most concentrated, Warrier said.
"Once the resources available with the Southern Naval Command in terms of Gemini boats and divers were found to be falling short, additional resources were sought and promptly received from other Naval commands," Warrier said. He said deployment of teams by airlift was the as landing grounds for the aircraft were not readily available due to inundation of most areas.
Naval aircraft operated from the Naval Air Station INS Garuda and were deployed from Chalakudy, Thrissur to Ayroor, Pathanamthitta to airlift survivors from locations inaccessible by road. Some of the rescued people were relocated to safe sites and the rest were brought to Naval relief camps set up in the T-2 Hangar and Naval KG School inside the Naval Base, the spokesman said.
On August 9, in view of the worsening situation and the challenges faced by the state administration, the Southern Naval Command launched 'Operation Madad' to facilitate rescue and relief efforts to the affected areas, the spokesman said. Initially, Operation Madad State III was executed on August 9, which was raised to State II on August 10, he said.
Rains intensified considerably from August 14 which resulted in waters in major dams crossing the danger levels and forcing the state government to order the opening of the shutters of some 35 of these 39 dams. This resulted in flooding at Ernakulam, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts mainly due to the opening of shutters of four dams in Idukki district and Kakki Dam in Pathanamthitta.
The Joint Operations Centre (JOC), Kochi became the nerve center during the conduct of Operation Madad. The JOC was augmented with a Planning and Coordination Section, rescue coordination cell within the operations room and a team muster and kitting up point at the ground floor of the JOC building, in order to quickly deploy teams as per requirement, the spokesman said.
Over 300 people have died and lakhs displaced in the floods and landslides caused by the monsoon rains since August 8 across Kerala.