IAF Prepares for Cyclone Tauktae
In its efforts to prepare to face the Cyclone Tauktae, the IAF on 16 May deployed two C-130J and one An-32 aircraft for transportation of 167 personnel and 16.5 tonnes of load of NDRF from Kolkata to Ahmedabad. The An-32 is enroute to Ahmedabad as of now. Another C-130J and two An-32 aircraft carried 121 NDRF personnel and 11.6 tonnes of load from Vijayawada to Ahmedabad for the same purpose. Also, two C-130J aircraft transported 110 personnel and 15 tonnes of cargo for NDRF from Pune to Ahmedabad.
Earlier, on 15 May, the IAF sent out a press note saying that the force had readied 16 of its transport aircraft and 18 helicopters for operations in peninsular India in preparation for Cyclone Tauktae which is expected to cause ‘very heavy’ to ‘extremely heavy rainfall’ along the western coast of India in the next few days.
One IL-76 aircraft has airlifted 127 personnel and 11 tonnes of cargo from Bhatinda to Jamnagar. A C-130 aircraft has airlifted 25 personnel and 12.3 tonnes cargo from Bhatinda to Rajkot. Two C-130 aircraft airlifted 126 personnel and 14 tonnes cargo from Bhubaneswar to Jamnagar.
Additionally, IAF Covid relief operations have been focused in these coastal areas for the coming few days, as bad weather will impend air operations later. The cyclone relief operations being carried out are in addition to those underway for Covid-19 relief.