May 28, 2017

India assists in flood relief efforts in Sri Lanka

India has stepped into assist Sri Lanka in providing flood relief for affected people.

Government of India received a request from the Government of Sri Lanka in the afternoon of May 26 to provide assistance following major flooding and landslides in various parts of the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately directed provision of all necessary assistance.

He 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.

High Commissioner of India Taranjit Sandhu handed over the supplies to Ravi Karunanayake, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, at Colombo Port.

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

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 / disaster relief missions.

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