IAF begins ops 'Operation Samudra Maitri' in quake-hit Indonesia, hands over aid to authorities

IAF C-130J aircraft was carrying 37 medical personnel while C-17 aircraft was loaded with relief material.

IAF begins ops 'Operation Samudra Maitri' in quake-hit Indonesia, hands over aid to authorities
ANI photo

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft carrying relief material to tsunami hit-Indonesia landed in Balikpapan on Wednesday. The IAF was on a humanitarian and disaster relief mission to the country where more than 1200 people died in a series of earthquakes over the last few days.

IAF C-130J aircraft was carrying 37 medical personnel while C-17 aircraft was loaded with relief material. The aircraft was offloaded and the relief material was handed over to the Indonesian authorities.

An IAF team had embarked the relief mission on Tuesday. The medical teams were instructed to be self-contained for 10 days. Accordingly, they were carrying their rations, generators, FOL, tentage. In addition, light medical equipment including X-ray machine and medicines were being carried.

Earlier in the day, India launched a massive operation to provide assistance to the earthquake and tsunami victims in Indonesia, dispatching three naval ships carrying relief material to the country, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

'Operation Samudra Maitri' for humanitarian assistance was launched after a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on October 1, and following Indonesia's acceptance of international aid, the MEA said in a statement.

On Sunday, the toll from an earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia soared to 832 confirmed dead, with authorities fearing it will only climb as rescuers struggle to reach outlying communities cut off from communications and help.

Dozens of people were reported to be trapped in the rubble of two hotels and a mall in the city of Palu, which was hit by waves as high as six metres (20 feet) following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday.

With most of the confirmed deaths from Palu, authorities are bracing for much worse as reports filter in from outlying areas, in particular, Donggala, a region of 300,000 people north of Palu and closer to the epicentre of the quake, and two other districts.

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