'Op Samudra Maitri' to help tsunami-hit Indonesia'

'Op Samudra Maitri' to help tsunami-hit Indonesia'

'Operation Samudra Maitri' (Image courtesy Twitter MEA India)

India has launched a massive operation to provide assistance to the earthquake and tsunami victims in Indonesia, dispatching two aircrafts and three naval ships carrying relief material to the country, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.

'Operation Samudra Maitri' for humanitarian assistance was launched after a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on October 1, and following Indonesia's acceptance of international aid, the MEA said in a statement.

Two Indian Air Force aircrafts -- C-130J and C-17 -- departed on Wednesday morning with medical personnel and relief material.

The C-130J aircraft is carrying a medical team along with tents and equipments to set up a field hospital. The C-17 aircraft is carrying medicines, generators, tents and water to provide immediate assistance, the MEA said.

Three Indian Naval Ships -- INS Tir, INS Sujatha and INS Shardul -- have also been mobilised to carry out humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).

These ships are likely to reach the Central Sulawesi province of Indonesia on October 6, the ministry said.

The death toll in Indonesia's twin quake-tsunami disaster, which decimated parts of the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi, has already climbed to nearly 1,400.

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck at dusk on Friday and generated a tsunami said to have been as high as 6 metres (nearly 20 feet) in places.