Fourth Indian naval vessel with relief material leaves for Mozambique
28 March 2019
A fourth Indian naval vessel, INS Magar, carrying essential relief material for the cyclone ravaged areas of Mozambique departed Mumbai for Port Beira in Mozambique today.
The amphibious warfare vessel is carrying 300 tonnes of relief supplies, including essential medicines, anti-epidemic drugs, food provisions, clothing, repair and rehabilitation equipment, and temporary shelters. The ship is also carrying a naval Chetak Light Utility helicopter for use in the ongoing relief operations.
This is the fourth Indian Naval ship after INS Sujata, Shardul and Sarathi of No 1 Training Squadron to augment the Indian Navy's ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) efforts in Mozambique.
During the ongoing operations at Port Beira since 18 March, Indian naval ships have rescued more than 192 survivors from Buzi area near Port Beira, which is cut off from the mainland. Three medical camps have been set up at Port Beira, Gaura-Gaurathe Island and Matadoura School, Imnhamizua and medical assistance has been provided to over 1,500 affected people from the local population.
The Chetak helicopter of Indian Navy has undertaken a number of sorties in difficult conditions for evacuation of local personnel in coordination with local authorities and the UN Mission. In addition, it has also dropped relief material (food and water), including that provided by World Food Programme.
Community services are being undertaken by the ships crew at affected locations like schools, churches, hospitals, orphanages in coordination with the local government officials. The ships have set up a community kitchen kept open 24x7 for local populace, including the workers at the port and 22 tonnes of fresh water has been provided to local authorities.
The tropical cyclone that struck Mozambique and several other countries in southern Africa last week caused widespread flooding and destruction across the southeast corner of the continent. The port city of Beira in Mozambique was hit hardest, with many homes destroyed.
At least 242 people have been killed in Mozambique, 139 people in Zimbabwe and 56 people in Malawi, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Aid organisations said those figures could rise drastically as rescuers reach previously inaccessible areas.
The floodwaters from the cyclone, called Idai, could have reached almost 20 feet deep, according to Matthew Cochrane, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Thousands have been displaced by the storm, and President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique said the death toll there could climb to more than 1,000.
The storm made landfall about two weeks ago near Quelimane, a city about 190 miles northeast of Beira, as a tropical depression with torrential rain. Wind speeds were only around 40 miles per hour, and after a few days, the storm changed course and moved back into the ocean.
Cyclone-ravaged Mozambique faces a "second disaster" from cholera and other diseases, officials have warned, as the United Nations launched an urgent aid appeal for an estimated 1.8 million people affected by storm winds and flash floods.
It would be a huge challenge. Large parts of the city of 500,000 residents are below sea level on a coastline that experts warn is one of the world’s most vulnerable to global warming’s rising waters.