An aerial view shows the flooded plane surrounding Beira, central Mozambique, on March 20, 2019 after the passage of the cyclone Idai. (Photo: ADRIEN BARBIER/AFP/Getty Images)

INDIA has become the first international responder to the Cyclone Idai in Mozambique that has affected more than 1.5 million people.

Three Indian naval ships reached Port Beira of Mozambique and have been delivering food, medicines and clothing to the Maputo’s defence authorities.

“The ships of First Training Squadron of Indian Navy (Sujata, Sarathi and Shardul) operating in the Southern Indian Ocean were diverted to Port Beira, Mozambique based on request received from the Government of Mozambique to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to the local population post the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai which struck the coast of Mozambique on 15 March, 2019,” a statement released by Government of India read.

The Indian Navy is also planning to set up medical camps and provide necessary relief items.

“The situation is being monitored closely and the Indian Navy is prepared to render all necessary assistance to the local population in Mozambique” the statement added.

Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique’s port city of Beira early Friday (15), then traveled west to Zimbabwe and Malawi.

The cyclone is believed to have destroyed “90 percent” of Beira, which is Mozambique’s fourth largest, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was quoted as saying.