Armed forces chip in for rescue ops

Army troops help rescue civilians in Belgaum District on August 8, 2019.

To tackle increased flooding in Karnataka, south Maharashtra and northern Kerala, the army has deployed a regiment of troops to help with relief efforts, while sending in additional forces from around the country. 

According to an army spokesperson, over 4,000 troops from the four armed services, including the Coast Guard have joined efforts in affected areas while being controlled by a Joint Operations Centre in south Maharashtra and Goa Sub-Area, Pune.

As of Thursday morning, the army had 16 columns and 14 Task Forces of engineers, including Special Forces in the form of paratroopers deployed in Kolhapur, Sangli and Raigad districts of Maharashtra and Bagalkot, Raichur, Belagavi and Kodagu districts of Karnataka. As the day wore on, however, a special engineer task force was airlifted out of Jodhpur to Belagavi to “enhance” rescue operations.

The Armed Forces issued a statement that 3,500 civilians who were cut-off by rising water had been rescued, while another 10,000 had been evacuated. The military added that it was providing food aid and medical services.

A Chethak transport helicopter of the Indian Air Force, which was flying from Hyderabad to Belagavi, was forced to land at Sriramarangapura in Ballari district following a technical glitch, although sources claimed that it ran out of fuel.

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