India to assist Sri Lanka in flood relief operations

Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 27 : As catastrophic landslides and floods hit parts of Sri Lanka, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed concerned departments to provide all necessary assistance to the country in its flood relief operations.

This came after Colombo had requested New Delhi to provide assistance following major flooding and landslides in various parts of the country.

Prime Minister Modi also expressed condolences at the loss of lives and property and said that India stands with her Sri Lankan brothers and sisters in their hour of need.

Pursuant to Prime Minister's directions, INS Kirch was diverted from her deployment and tasked to reach Colombo to provide immediate assistance.

The ship, with around 125 personnel on board, arrived at Colombo Port in the morning of May 27 and offloaded relief supplies, inflatable Gemini boats with diving teams, and a mobile medical team with supplies.

Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Taranjit Sandhu handed over the supplies to Si Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake at Colombo Port.

The Indian rescue personnel are now being deployed to the disaster affected zone in coordination with Sri Lanka Navy and other authorities.

A second ship, INS Shardul, has left Kochi and is scheduled to arrive at Colombo Port by mid-day on May 28.

The ship is carrying additional relief material requested by Sri Lankan authorities, apart from more inflatable boats.

A third ship, INS Jalashwa, has also set sail from Visakhapatnam to join the relief efforts, and is expected to reach Colombo within two days.

The INS Jalsahwa is an even larger LPD (landing platform / dock) class of ship, which can carry large amounts of relief material and is ideally suited for conduct of humanitarian assistance / and disaster relief missions.

The Indian High Commission in Colombo is in close touch with Sri Lankan authorities to coordinate any additional assistance that may be required.

Floods and landslides fueled by torrential rains have so far left 91 people dead and another 110 missing in Sri Lanka.

Source: ANI