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Cyclone Fani: IAF Deploys 3 C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft with Relief Material for Odhisa

IAF has been on 'hot standby', and with air operations restored, is now ready to launch for cyclone hit areas.

News18.com

Updated:May 5, 2019, 1:24 PM IST
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Cyclone Fani: IAF Deploys 3 C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft with Relief Material for Odhisa
Image for representation.

The Indian Air Force has deployed three C-130 J Super Hercules transport aircraft to provide relief material to disaster hit Odhisa. Along with Super Hercules, IAF has also deployed other transport aircrafts like AN-32 and MI-17 chopper under the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. The first aircraft carrying relief material, emergency equipment and medicines have already landed in Bhubaneswar, which was closed for commercial operation earlier.

A tweet by IAF says – “As a response towards HADR, IAF is launching 3 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from Hindan with relief material, emergency equipment and medicines. IAF has been on 'hot standby', and with air operations restored, is now ready to launch for cyclone hit areas.

The Indian Air Force is transporting specialists to Odhisa for restoration work. “Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft lands at Bhubaneswar for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. The aircraft carried specialist engineers from Kolkata who will assist in the restoration of water supply in Bhubaneswar city.

At least eight people were killed in Odisha after cyclone Fani, the worst of its kind in India in two decades, tore through the state on Friday. Though the 'extremely severe' cyclone unexpectedly weakened into 'very severe' cyclonic storm in a few hours, it left behind a trail of devastation in large parts of coastal Odisha.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the situation, said Puri district suffered huge damage. "Energy infrastructure has been completely destroyed. Restoration of electricity is a challenging task," he said.

Hundreds of engineers and technicians were working on a war footing to restore power supply. Work is on to restore road communication, thrown into disarray with thousands of uprooted trees blocking the way in innumerable places, he added.

Patnaik said nearly 12 lakh people were evacuated and shifted to safer locations within 24 hours ahead of the cyclone from about 10,000 villages and 52 urban agglomerations in probably the largest such exercise at the time of a natural calamity in the country.

The evacuees have been accommodated in over 4,000 shelters, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres where free cooked food is being served to them, he said.

After the landfall, the system passed through Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore before it is expected to enter West Bengal, said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) BP Sethi said.

With state capital Bhubaneswar being hit by high-velocity winds of around 140 kmph, telecommunication lines were snapped in several parts, mobile towers were damaged, and power supply was disconnected.

A red alert has been issued in coastal areas and fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea.

(With inputs from agencies)

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| Edited by: Arjit Garg
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