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Kerala floods: These videos of air rescue operations will give you goosebumps

Whenever a disaster strikes in any part of India, a common sight is of men and women in uniform at the rescue sites. Kerala floods were no different.

SNS | New Delhi | Updated :

Whenever a disaster strikes in any part of India, a common sight is of men and women in uniform at the rescue sites. Kerala floods were no different.

As an unprecedented barrage of rains in Kerala triggered the worst floods since 1924 in the southern state, the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force came to the rescue of the affected people.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said as of 20 August Indian Army has deployed 8 columns of personnel, 18 Engineering Task Force, 6 Medical teams and 2 Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and 110 boats.

The Indian Navy deployed 112 rescue teams, 2 Medical Teams and 104 boats, and the Indian Coast Guard sent 42 Disaster Response Team with 74 boats. The Air Force has sent 15 Mi-17 helicopters, 10 ALHs and 6 Chetak choppers to assist in the rescue and relief efforts.

The operations have been conducted in some of the most arduous conditions on land, water and air.

Videos from the operations, particularly two showing men from Navy and Air Force winching two of the stranded people to safety, have gone viral. People on social media are praising the selfless devotion to duty displayed by the gallant men of the forces.

In one of the videos, Wing Commander Prasanth of IAF’s Garud Special Force is seen saving the life of a toddler from a rooftop in flood hit town of Alappuzha.

 

In another, a paralysed pregnant woman is seen being winched up to safety while the helicopter piloted by Captain P Rajkumar, Shaurya Chakra, of Indian Navy hovers steadily.

 

A third video shows a man holding on to the cable as he is winched to safety of an Indian Navy Sea King helicopter in Alwaye.

 

The heroism of the defence personnel was also acknowledged by the stranded people.

This photo was posted by the Indian Navy on its official Twitter handle. It shows a huge ‘Thank You’ note painted on the roof of a house from where Indian Navy rescued two women.

 

Winching is one of the most arduous rescue missions conducted in times of distress. It is done only when there is a need for emergency evacuation and other options such as by boat and land are impossible.

Winching has its own risks. Not only does it require a very powerful helicopter, air rescue missions are conducted by the best of the pilots and the finest of rescue personnel.

Havoc Kerala floods have wreaked so far

The floods have killed nearly 370 people so far and rendered lakhs of people homeless. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Sunday the number of those displaced in the torrential rains was 7,24,649 lakh and that all of them had been sheltered in 5,645 relief camps in the state.

The CM’s call for donations was met with overwhelming response with volunteer organisations and state governments generously contributing to reduce the weight of the damage which Vijayan put at Rs 20,000 crore.

Multiple rescue agencies from the state and the Centre have been pressed into service to help the people stranded in the flood-affected districts. Even fishermen have joined in the rescue operations.

Vijayan said around 22,000 people had been rescued on Sunday alone in multiple operations launched by the defence personnel, national and state disaster response forces, fishermen and local people.

Besides the three services and the ICG, 57 teams of NDRF involving about 1,300 personnel and 435 boats have been deployed for search and rescue operations. Five companies of BSF, CISF and RAF’s have also been deployed.