Forces join rescue work in K'taka, AP

Forces join rescue work in K'taka, AP


A man tries to balance himself as he attempts to cross floodwaters overflowing a bridge in Kudadarahal village, on Saturday. AP

The army has deployed 700 personnel along with eight medical teams while the air force has pressed 13 helicopters into service. The Eastern Naval Command has been alerted to remain on a standby in Vijayawada for any eventuality.

“We have deployed eight columns along with medical teams and adequate rescue equipment and materials in the Kurnool and Mehboobnagar districts of Andhra Pradesh and at Bijapur in Karnataka since Friday, to help the civil administration in relief and rescue operations,” the army officials said here.

The Indian Air Force is also carrying out relief works in the affected areas. Six helicopters swung into action on Friday evacuating people and dropping relief material, mainly food packets. Till Friday night, the IAF had rescued 44 people, including 12 from Bellary.

Sorties

By late Saturday evening, 13 IAF helicopters — five Mi-8s and eight Chetaks — carried out 17 sorties. Besides, four AN-32 aircraft have carried out 13 sorties, airlifting from Pune men and material provided by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to the affected areas in the two states.

“One AN-32 sortie carrying relief for the affected people in Kurnool had to be diverted to Karnataka as the road link to Kurnool had been washed away in many places. Relief material, boats and other equipment have now reached the district,” a defence ministry official said.

“A large number of soldiers and boats, scheduled to be moved from Bangalore to Bellary, have been held up due to heavy rain along the west coast. The navy in Karwar and Goa has been providing relief operations in the affected areas in the west coast of Karnataka,” the official said.

The IAF deployed an IL-76 on Saturday from Bhubaneswar to Bangalore/Puttaparthi to transport 350 men and 50 boats to join in the search and relief mission.

“An additional 100 men and 30 boats are also being pressed into service by a sortie from Pune to Hyderabad. Further, 270 men and 30 boats will be airlifted from Bhatinda (Punjab) and Delhi to the affected areas as decided by the NDMA,” an IAF spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Naval Command has been alerted to remain on standby in Vijayawada. “The navy has deployed 12 diving teams with boats. So far, we have rescued 130 people. Moreover, food and shelter is being provided to 150 people stranded at the Karwar base,” a navy spokesperson said.

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