India to send two relief ships to Myanmar

May 5th, 2008 - 7:09 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) India is readying two navy ships to travel to Myanmar with relief supplies after a strong cyclone battered the Southeast Asian nation killing over 350 people and leaving thousands homeless. On Friday night, category three cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar with winds of speed up to 190 kilometre per hour and only subsided after 10 hours Saturday morning, leading to large-scale devastation in affected areas.

The military-run Myanmar government has declared a state of emergency. According to media reports from Yangon, the foreign ministry had solicited aid through its envoys.

According to an Indian external affairs ministry official, two navy ships were being loaded with relief supplies, mainly rice, medicine, tents and meals-ready-to-eat (MRE). “The ships will be despatched from Port Blair for Yangon,” he said.

India will send more relief material once a better assessment is made of the requirement by the Indian embassy and Myanmarese authorities. Right now, the authorities here did not even know which port in Myanmar was undamaged enough to be able to unload the ships.

The official added that all Indian nationals in Myanmar were reported to be safe. “We had not been able to contact our embassy as all communication lines were still down yesterday (Sunday). Contact was finally made today (Monday),” he said.

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