Visakhapatnam, Oct 16 :
Relief operations Friday continued elsewhere in cyclone hit Visakhapatnam, but the navy along with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) managed to clear the civil airport here, which was severely damaged in the cyclone.
“Continued efforts of the navy in close liaison with the AAI have resulted in clearance of the airfield for civil flights for day and night operations,” an official statement said.
The Vishakhapatnam terminal will be ready for civil flights by Friday.
Navy officials also held a meeting with the AAI Wednesday to discuss modalities for resumption of civil flight operations from INS Dega.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy continued to run community kitchens, and food packets were being dropped in areas which are still difficult to reach.
Aerial recce of the affected areas by naval helicopters was also undertaken.
Relief material transported by Indian Air Force aircraft is being stored at the navy’s airfield INS Dega and thereafter being shifted to feeder trucks for onward distribution in coordination with the civil administration.
Suitable storage space has also have been provided to the civil authorities for smooth distribution of the relief material.
With all communication links broken, naval experts are assisting the telecom authorities and civil administration in restoring communication lines and connectivity is being progressively restored in the affected areas.
To restore operations at the harbour, surveys are being done with wire sweeps, side scan sonar and check sounding, and the harbour has been declared safe for operations.
“It is intended to undertake sounding checks at civil berths and carry out survey of breakwater to ensure that the harbour is fully operational at the earliest,” said the naval statement.
The statement also said the armed forces will continue the aerial sorties for survey and relief operations, as requested by civil authorities.