In support of the national disaster in flood-hit Madagascar, the Indian Navy launched ‘ Operation Vanilla ‘ on January 28, and diverted a large amphibious ship to provide assistance.

“INS Airavat, which was deployed for the same mission, has been diverted,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

Madagascar’s President has demanded international mobilization on Twitter.

“As the first respondent, it was planned to redirect INS Airavat immediately to Madagascar, enroute to the Seychelles. The ship is carrying five pallets each, along with three pallets of drugs, of victualing, clothing and naval stores, “official sources said. As of January 30 it is expected to reach Madagascar.

The ship can provide clothes, emergency food, temporary shelters, medical assistance, transportation and personnel evacuation using four large and two medium-sized vessels, diving and communication assistance, officials said.

“We stand in solidarity with Madagascar in this time of national disaster. You and the people of Madagascar are our thoughts and prayers,” Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter. He added that the Indian Navy has already launched Op Vanilla to provide support for the relief operations.

The Indian Navy has been the first responder in the Indian Ocean Area for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) of late.

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