Indian Navy Evacuates People in Flood-Stricken Kerala

Indian Navy Evacuates People in Flood-Stricken Kerala
Three companies of the Indian Army, Navy Divers and aircraft from Indian Air Force rendered assistance in several places in Kerala over the last two days as the fury of vigourous monsoons and rising rivers wreaked havoc in the state.


Whilst the Indian Navy is often  called upon to assist the civil administration in a state with a large swathe of water bodies, the Indian Army in action was not a common sight in the state.


An Indian Army company deployed overnight from Madukkarai near Coimbatore, on 6th August, went into action straight away in Thrissur district. Several villages along the banks of the river Kurumali were getting inundated as heavy logs washed away in the fury of a raging Kurumali river blocked the flow under the bridges. The Indian Army personnel led by Major Imran Khan cleared huge obstructions from under two bridges  by entering the fast flowing rivers and removing huge logs.


Another company of the Army rendered valuable assistance in clearing the landslide at Chiyappara in Idukki district. Colonel Dushyanth Jolly who was leading his men at Chiyappara said that the same battalion had carried out flood relief operations in Thiruvananthapuram in 1979 and had lost a soldier- Sepoy PO Oomen in that operation.
The Indian Navy personnel ferried marooned villagers from the island of Thuruthu near Aluva.
Indian Air Force aircraft were used to ferry NDRF personnel to Kochi. Two other IAF helicopters were kept standby to meet any emergent situation.
Status as on 05 Aug 13

The Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force have garnered their forces to respond to the situation arising out of incessant rains in Kerala. The Navy has sent a 16 member diving team to rescue marooned villagers from an island in the Periyar river which is in spate. The Navy is also sending a 40 member team to Idukki where two landslides have occurred within a short span of time. The Indian Army has sent three columns of Army personnel to the same site and they are expected to reach Idukki late in the evening. Meanwhile a 40 member team of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force ) along with 5 tonnes of relief material are being ferried by two Indian Air Force aircraft. The aircraft will land at Naval Base Kochi at 7 PM today. They would then proceed by road to Idukki in vehicles provided by the State Government. Indian Air Force is also expected to send two ALH helicopters later today.


Press Release, August 8, 2013; Image: Navy