Source: News Bharati English20 May 2016 15:50:23

Kochi, May 20: India is extending help and relief to Sri Lanka which is battling torrential rains and landslides which have caused significant devastation and loss of life. The Indian Navy is sending two ships today, INS Sutlej and INS Sunanyna with Geminis (inflatable boats), OBMs (outboard motors), additional divers, tarpaulins, consumable stores, rations, etc. 

“We stand resolutely to help the Government and people of Sri Lanka. Assistance being rushed on emergency basis,” PM Modi tweeted. Two Naval ships, one Naval off Shore Patrol (NOPV) INS Sunayna and one survey ship INS Sutlej, are being sent to Colombo from Southern Naval Command in Kochi.

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The Home Ministry held a meeting today at 10 a.m. on coordinating an airlift with NDMA cargo. In the meeting they assessed quantity of relief material required. All the material will be collected in Delhi by 2 p.m. and a C-17 aircraft with crew and officials from NDMA and NDRF will leave at 3 p.m., halt at Chennai to pick up additional material and head to Colombo.

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An Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster heavy transport aircraft is being sent from Palam Air Force station in Delhi with medicines, a water purification plant and tents. “The C-17 is scheduled to take-off at 3 P.M hrs and will halt in Chennai to pick up tents and then proceed to Colombo,” Navy officer said.

Representatives from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster response Force (NDRF) will also be going in the aircraft, officials added. A tropical cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, Roanu, hit across the Sri Lankan coast causing massive flooding and mudslides which left scores dead and displaced over 1,00,0000 families.

It will reach in the evening today carrying medical supplies, tarpaulins, tents, emergency lights consumables stores, and mobile toilets. The Ministry is in constant touch with our High Commission for any additional logistical support that might be required.

Sri Lanka is a close neighbour and friend and India has always been the first responder in times of a crisis. As was the case during the Tsunami that affected Sri Lanka in the past, this time also India will extend all necessary help and relief to Sri Lanka, as requested.