Blame them on depletion of Ozone layer, global warming or some such phenomena––natural disasters have begun visiting us with the regularity of equinoxes and the solstices. The ongoing floods in India are an example of the fury unleashed by nature.
The armed forces in general––the Air Force in particular––are pressed into action to provide succour by airlifting men and material and evacuating the stranded population. The number of sorties flown despite inclement weather within the limited resources and the tonnage provide for impressive statistics. Selflessly rising to the occasion each time, the men in uniform save thousands of lives.
Thousands still die.
The question is: Ceteris paribus, can more lives be saved? Going by the Uttarakhand experience (July 2013), the unequivocal answer would be, “YES.”
Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi, Issue Brief No. 19/ 2013 dated July 11, 2013 titled, “AIRLIFT DURING DISASTERS: THE UTTARAKHAND EXPERIENCE –– Can we Save More Lives?” explains, “How?”