File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
'In response to a request from the Republic of Mozambique, the Government of India immediately diverted three Indian naval ships to the port city of Beira,'' a press statement issued on Saturday from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.
To speed up humanitarian operations, India will send another ship, INS Magar, loaded with relief materials to Mozambique, one of the three countries along with Zimbabwe and Malawi severely affected by Cyclone Idai, leaving hundreds dead and thousands displaced.
"In response to a request from the Republic of Mozambique, the Government of India immediately diverted three Indian naval ships to the port city of Beira. Over the last several days, the three Indian ships, INS Sujata, ICGS Sarathi and INS Shardul are undertaking HADR (Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief) in coordination with local authorities and the High Commission of India, Maputo," a press statement issued on Saturday from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.
"In view of the evolving crisis, India is continuing with its efforts to help the people of Mozambique. To sustain HADR operations, another ship INS MAGAR, suitably loaded with relief materials is being sent to Mozambique".
The HADR brick loaded on board contains medicines, dry provisions, ready-to-eat meals, daily essentials, and clothing items," adds the statement.
"This would cater for approximately 1,000 persons for seven days. In addition, 500 kg of epidemic-related medicines and 400 tonnes of rice has also been loaded on the ship. The ship is expected to sail in the next 2-3 days," added the ministry.
The Indian naval crew rescued more than 192 people affected in the cyclone. Medical assistance has been provided to 1,381 persons in medical camps set up by the Indian Navy.
"As of now, Indian naval crew has IN Helicopter Chetak took several sorties to facilitate aerial survey by disaster management officials of Mozambique, for evacuation of people in coordination with local authorities and for dropping food and water packets in cyclone-affected areas," the press release said.
"Indian Navy ships have also been providing fresh water in relief camps, undertaking community service including clearing of debris and repairing damaged roads etc. Food supplies have also been provided to about 700 persons working in the port area," it added.
The Indian Navy was the first responder in the evolving humanitarian crises in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai that hit Mozambique on 15 March 2019. Assistance is also being sent to Zimbabwe and Malawi, two other countries hit by the cyclone.
More than 400 people have died in the affected nations until now, according to officials. The figure is set to rise as bodies are being discovered as floodwaters recede.