Kolkata/Nagpur, Sep 15 (ANI): The Indian Air Force (IAF) has launched flood relief operations in flood-affected parts of Orissa since the past 48 hrs.
Towards this, the Indian Air Force's Eastern Air Command has pressed into operation two MI-17 helicopters, which are presently operating from the Bhubaneswar airfield.
In a short span of two days, over 15 sorties have been flown by IAF helicopters and have helilifted 36 tonnes of food packets and dry rations.
The relief effort is presently concentrated around 100 km radius from Bhubaneswar, which is presently the worst flood-affected area. The helicopters are carrying out airdrop of the food packets.
The helicopters for these operations have been drawn from IAF Station Kumbhigram in Assam.
IAF Wing Commander Pankaj Bajaj, who is leading the flood relief effort, said, "our boys are operating relentlessly and in a determined manner".
"The low clouds, and rainfall are posing a challenge to the operations. Strong low-level winds are also making the task more challenging. We are carrying out the task despite these to provide relief to the affected people, by finding penetrable patches in the weather," he said.
The Eastern Air Command, headquartered in Shillong is ensuring that its assets are kept in a state of readiness, should the civil administration request for its assistance in carrying out relief and rescue ops.
Air Marshal Matheswaran, Senior Air Staff Officer of EAC has said: "We have kept our helicopters and transport aircraft in a state of readiness in the entire eastern sector. If theivil administration asks for our assistance we would be in a position to provide if at a short notice, in any State of Eastern India."
The relief operations in Orissa are likely to continue for the next 24 hrs at least, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and civil admin officials. (ANI)
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