India launches 'Operation Sahayata' in Nargis-hit Myanmar

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New Delhi, May 7 (UNI) India today launched 'Operation Sahayata (help)' to provide relief to the survivors of cyclone Nargis in Myanmar that killed nearly 22,500 people and left 41,000 missing.

On May 2-3, cyclone Nargis ripped through Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta, where entire villages have been washed away and one million people left homeless.

Nargis is Asia's most devastating cyclone since 1991 when a storm killed 143,000 in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Two Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft today airlifted relief supplies to Myanmar. The AN-32 aircraft carried medicines and tents for survivors.

Besides, two Indian Navy ships carrying medicines, food, tents and clothing have already reached capital Yangon.

INS Rana and Kirpan left Port Blair on May 5 night and latest reports received here said that the ships were anchored four miles off harbour at 0500 hrs this morning, awaiting offloading by the Myanmar authorities.

India has been at the forefront of countries to rush aid to Myanmar in this hour of crisis. The Indian armed forces have mobilised a comprehensive relief package under Operation Sahayata.

The Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) plans to despatch another relief aircraft soon.

UNI AG MSJ HS1656

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