New Delhi, February 25: Lending help to a needy friend, the Government of India sent 44 metric tonnes of relief material to help the people of Fiji hit by Cyclone Winston. The relief material is being airlifted from New Delhi and Chennai and being sent to Fiji capital Suva which includes basic food supplies, medicines, tents and kitchen sets. Also, Indian Air Force is flying a C17 transport aircraft from Delhi to Chennai with about 20 tonnes of medicine and food. From Chennai, another 20 tonnes of tentage will be picked up and flown to Fiji.The island nation of Fiji was hit by Category five Cyclone Winston, with wind speed 325 km/hr and waves up to 12m high and has caused widespread damage to the housing stock and power disruption in the island nation.
"44 people have reportedly died and several villages completely uprooted. External Affairs Minister immediately wrote to her counterpart and offered condolences on the loss of life and property. India also extended one million dollar and immediate assistance to Fiji," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
"In addition, today a C-17 globe master aircraft has left for Fiji with a total of 45 tonnes of relief material, which includes food products such as noodles, biscuits, milk powder, rice, pulses, flour and salt as well as 5.43 metric tonnes of medicines and 300 tents and kitchen sets," he added.
The relief material is being sent in consultation with Officiating Ambassador of India in the Fiji capital Suva. The National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Home Affairs is coordinating the relief operations with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Food Processing, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, Indian Red Cross Society and NDRF.