India sends two ships of relief material to cyclone-hit Myanmar

Other News Materials 6 May 2008 12:25 (UTC +04:00)

Two Indian Navy ships carrying relief materials - including tents, medicine, food and blankets - have sailed for cyclone-hit Myanmar, a navy official said Tuesday.

The Myanmar government has estimated the death toll from cyclone Nargis which hit the country late Friday to be close to 15,000 with many still missing, reported dpa.

The two Indian ships left Port Blair in India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands late on Monday and were expected to reach Yangon by first light Wednesday, the official said.

A spokesman for India's External Affairs Ministry said Monday that India was also considering airlifting emergency relief materials to Myanmar.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had conveyed India's readiness to provide immediate emergency relief assistance to Myanmar to cope with the calamity, spokesman Navtej Sarna said in a release.

Indian President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mukherjee had sent condolence messages to the government and people of Myanmar, the release added.

India has economic and military ties with Myanmar and is particularly interested in access to the neighbouring country's oil and gas reserves.