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India is first country to offer help to African nations wracked by Cyclone Idai

Indian aid to Africa cyclone Photograph:( WION )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 20, 2019, 12.56 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, the worst tropical cyclone to impact Africa that caused massive damage in several South East African nations -- ozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Madagascar -- India became the first country to respond to the disaster-hit nations by providing assistance.

The three ships operating in the Southern Indian Ocean were immediately diverted to Port Beira in Mozambique to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).

India rushed its ships --INS Sujata, INS Sarathi and INS Shardul--in response to the request received from Mozambique government.

The category four cyclone stuck on March 15 and caused massive damage in central and northern provinces Mozambique while causing large scale devastation in the city of Beira.

According to an Indian Navy Release, "The disembarkation of HADR stores including food, medicines and clothing to the Mozambique Defence authorities has been completed. Arrangements are in progress to disembark potable water."

INS Sujata along with INS Sarathi arrived at Port Beira morning of March 18 while INS Shardul arrived on March 19.

The Ministry of External Affairs in a release said, "In this hour of tragedy, Government of India stands ready to extend support to the affected people."

How Indian ships helping the country

Indian Naval Ships are providing relief material in the form of food, clothes and medicine to the affected people. The Indian ships already had three medical practitioners and five nurses to provide immediate medical help and a medical camp has been set up.

Helicopters on board INS Shardul are operating from the local airport for rescue along with boats. Landing Craft Assault and Gemini rubberised craft with divers are being used to provide assistance for evacuation of marooned personnel.

The Defence Minister of Mozambique visited the Indian ships to oversee the relief efforts. 

Reports of about 5000 personnel marooned at Buzi near Beira and those who required immediate evacuation are coming.

In 2016, after a drought in Mozambique, India had provided $10 million for the purchase of wheat and a donation of 100 tons of essential medicines and Transport vehicles for the country's Health and Interior ministry.

This is not the first time India has rushed its ships and provided support to regional countries. In past India provided help to countries like Sri Lanka in the aftermath of flooding in the country.

Story highlights

India rushed its ships --INS Sujata, INS Sarathi and INS Shardul--in response to the request received from Mozambique government.