The Indian Navy Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessel, INS Airavat (L24) arrived at Port Antsiranana, Madagascar on Jan. 30 for undertaking Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission as part of ‘Operation Vanilla’.
INS Airavat was diverted on Jan. 26 whilst mission deployed in the Southern Indian Ocean to render assistance to the citizens of Madagascar who have been affected by the devastation caused by Cyclone Diane. The vessel is the first international respondent to this evolving humanitarian crisis in Madagascar.
On arrival, Commander Sunil Sankar, the Commanding Officer and his team held a meeting with the Madagascar authorities along with the Indian embassy officials.
On Feb. 1, Abhay Kumar, Ambassador of India to Madagascar and Commander Sunil Sankar handed over urgently needed relief material comprising disaster relief stores, tents, blankets, clothing, food and medicines to local government authorities in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister of Republic of Madagascar, Christian Lois Ntsay. The medical team from the ship also held a medical camp at Antsiranana on Feb. 1 and 2 in coordination with local authorities.
“The Indian Navy continues to monitor the situation and is prepared to render all necessary assistance to the local populace of Madagascar”, said a Navy statement.