New Delhi: Indian Navy has conducted a large- scale exercise to test its readiness for handling a tsunami- like disaster with over 20 warships and various aircraft taking part in the drill which was held around Lakshadweep Islands.
The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise involving more than 20 ships from the Western and Eastern Fleets and various aircraft of Indian Navy was conducted yesterday in the Lakshadweep Islands (Kavaratti, Aggatti, Kalpeni and Androth).
The exercise -- which spanned an area of approximately 8,000 square miles in the Indian Ocean -- simulated a major cyclone striking the islands, disrupting essential services and causing widespread destruction of property, loss of life and dislocation of personnel.
The ships in the drill were grouped into four forces, each having a humanitarian assistance and security component.
The exercise was designed to validate the navy's capability for providing immediate succour and relief to the affected people, an official statement said.
It involved the navy personnel setting up medical camps and making provisions for food, shelter from the elements, restoration of basic facilities and limited restoration work till the situation stabilised.
In the wake of the "fresh water crisis" at Male in December last year, Indian Navy had deployed two warships which supplied more than 2,000 tones of fresh water to the city of Male over a period of 10 days.
The navy was also at the forefront of relief operations in the wake of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. It also took part in evacuation operations from Lebanon in 2006 and Libya in 2011 and provided assistance in Bangladesh during Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and in Myanmar during Cyclone Nargis in 2008.
The navy had also participated in the efforts to locate the missing Malaysian airliner MH-370.
The exercise will further underscore the nation's capabilities for being being the "first responder" in the region during times of humanitarian crises, the statement added.