New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The Indian Air Force has kept four Mi-17 helicopters ready for rescue and relief operations in Odisha where heavy rains triggered flash floods in parts of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts, a defence statement said on Sunday.
"Four helicopters are on standby awaiting weather clearance," said the Defence Ministry in the statement.
The Odisha government sought the help of the army and the air force to rescue the marooned persons and urged the Central government to provide four helicopters to intensify relief and rescue operations.
Several bridges, including a railway overbridge, were washed away in the floods caused by incessant rains in the two districts. Besides, major roads were damaged by floodwaters.
The Defence Ministry said that since it is not possible to rescue them through boat by Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force and fire services, the assistance of Indian Air Force is required for rescue and airdrop of relief material in the affected areas of Rayagada district.
"Four helicopters have been requisitioned. State Emergency Operation Center in Special Relief Commissioner Office is tracking the situation closely," the statement said.