IAF helicopters complete relief work in West Bengal

May 31st, 2009 - 9:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Kolkata, May 31(ANI): The Indian Air Force helicopters wound-up all the rescue and relief operations in West Bengal on Sunday, which were being carried out in the state since May 26 in the wake of devastation caused by Aila cyclone in the state. IAF had pressed two Mi-17 helicopters into service from the Eastern Air Command airbases to undertake all the relief and rescue work.During the operations the IAF Mi-17s flew 36 sorties and 50 hours, said a PIB release.The helicopters were mainly used for airlifting food supplies, medicines and water to the areas which were totally cut off from mainland.

On their return leg, these helicopters were used to bring back the sick and injured people to safer areas. The cyclone had hit coastal areas of West Bengal which generated floods. At least 5.1 million people were displaced, with more than one million people stranded in the Sundarban alone, hundreds of thousands of houses were destroyed. People were left stranded without food, water and shelter for four days, as the cyclone had washed away roads and submerged villages. At least 125 people are reported to have died. A total of 71.64 tonnes of relief material was airlifted to different camps and 25 passengers were transported to safe spot. (ANI)

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