The Indian Navy has deployed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to identity the worst-hit areas in flooded Chennai to help civilian authorities, Navy chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan said on Thursday.
Speaking ahead of Navy Day, he said: “We used an innovative method, carrying out surveys by UAVs to identify waterlogged areas and sharing the information with the civil administration to help them in rescue work.”
Admiral Dhowan said the navy was carrying out relief and rescue work in flood hit Chennai and other districts in Tamil Nadu.
Its naval base was being used for civilian flights as the Chennai airport was inundated following the worst rains in some 100 years.
He said INS Rajali, the naval base at Arakkonam, around 90 km from Chennai by road, was serving as the “alternate airport” for supplying all relief material as well as National Disaster Response Force teams.
The operation has been named Operation Madad.
“Our ships and aircraft are deployed in Tamil Nadu. INS Airawat is deployed. We are distributing food and water,” he said, adding that around 40 tonnes of relief material had landed in Chennai.
The rescue operations involving the army, navy and air force were being managed by a high-level Defence Crisis Management group.
A senior official said: “Ships have been sent from Visakhapatnam to Chennai. These ships have rescue and relief equipment and will be there until the situation is under control.”
There was no damage to naval assets, the official added.