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IAF, Army prepare to fight monsoon disasters

With upper Assam already going under flood waters this monsoon season, Air Force and Army personnel are gearing up for relief operations in flood-prone Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JUN 18, 2008 11:43 AM IST

With upper Assam already going under flood waters this monsoon season, Air Force and Army personnel are gearing up for relief operations in flood-prone Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa.

"Workshops are being organised to strike coordination between Army, IAF personnel and civil administration in provide immediate relief to the people of the affected areas," Defence Spokesman RK Das told PTI.

Workshops were held in late last month at IAF bases in Kalaikunda to provide succour during the times of flood in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa. Another workshop in Guwahati assessed measures to be taken to help the victims of flood in the Northeast.

An 'Operations Coordination Cell' would be set up at Kalaikunda air base, which becomes an important base for flood relief operations during monsoon, Das said.

IAF officers in Kalaikunda and Guwahati have explained to administrative officials the capabilities and limitations of Mi-17 and Chetak helicopters and AN32 aircraft in bad weather.

The officials were also taken on the aircraft and helicopters to give them a hands-on experience of loading, air drops during the recuse operation, Das said.

He said more than 75,000 kg relief material was dropped over areas in West Midnapore district in West Bengal and Baleshwar district in Orissa last year when rivers swelled to maroon large swathes of the districts.

Nearly 280 people were rescued by the defence personnel, he said.

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