Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday praised the efforts of the armed forces and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in carrying out search and rescue operations in the areas battered by Cyclone Tauktae.
A barge with 38 members on board sank in the Arabian Sea five days ago, and they are still missing. The Indian Navy ships worked through the night, using searchlights to trace any movement in the pitch-dark waters as hopes of finding more survivors began to recede.
The Defence Ministry’s statement said, “He (Singh) commended the Indian Navy and the ICG for saving the lives of people stranded at sea while hailing the Indian Army for deploying its columns in affected areas and the Indian Air Force for transporting personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).”
On Monday, Rajnath Singh had directed the armed forces to extend all possible assistance to civil administrations to tide over the cyclone and its effects. The Navy on Thursday morning launched a fresh aerial search and rescue mission, deploying helicopters to scour the waters off Mumbai coast, where the accommodation barge P305 went adrift in Tauktae fury before it sank on Monday.