The Indian Navy has successfully completed a large-scale humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercise in the Lakshadweep Islands.
More than 20 vessels from the Western and Eastern Fleets, as well as several navy aircraft, took part.
The exercise involved a simulation of a major cyclone hitting the Lakshdweep Islands and disrupting vital services and causing extensive property destruction, loss of life and dislocation.
Aimed at validating the navy's potential to deliver prompt aid and relief to the affected population, it also established medical camps, provision of food, shelter from the elements, restoration of basic facilities and partial restoration work.
Furthermore, navy personnel activated airfields and established helicopter landing sites, set up an emergency power supply for hospitals, airport and communication centres, and constructed temporary structures and shelters, evacuating critically ill and injured personnel and assisting rehabilitation efforts.
The navy has previously provided assistance in relief operations after the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 and evacuation operations in Lebanon in 2006 and Libya in 2011. It has also assisted Bangladesh during Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Myanmar during Cyclone Nargis in 2008.
It also took part in the search efforts for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
Image: The Indian Navy's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise. Photo: courtesy of the Indian Navy.