International Operation Name: Not applicable
International Operation Dates: Not applicable
Mandating Organization: Government of Canada
Region Name: Asia
Canadian Operation Name: (Pakistan 1955)
Canadian Operation Dates: 1955/12/07 – 1955/12/17
Mission Mandate: To airlift humanitarian relief to Pakistan after monsoon flooding
Every summer, the central-Asian landmass heats up. As the hot air rises it creates a low pressure area that draws in massive amounts of air from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The winds created by this influx of air are properly called monsoon; the rain that comes with it are the monsoon rains.
The monsoon season on the Indian sub-continent typically lasts from June to the end of September. Some areas in western and central India receive 90 percent or more of their annual rainfall in this period. The average monthly monsoon rainfall ranges from 200 to 300 mm per month, with July and August receiving the heaviest rain.
In August 1955, the monsoon rains were particularly heavy. With 20 major rivers rushing down the Himalaya Mountains into the low-laying flood plains at the top of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian states of Bihar and Assam, and areas of East Pakistan were very hard hit. Between 4 and 8 million people were forced to flee the floodwaters in India alone.
The next year brought even more hardship and water to eastern India and East Pakistan. Again over 10 000 square miles were flooded and 2000 people killed. Adding to the problems, three cyclones in September brought more rain and destruction.
In 1955, the response was greater, with special flights being arranged to deliver the relief. Two North Stars from 426 Squadron were tasked in December to fly relief supplies from Montréal to India and Pakistan. The second aircraft bound for Karachi left Montreal on the 7 December 1955 with a full load of Red Cross supplies. The flight was routed through Gander, Lajes, Gibraltar, Malta, Nicosia and Bahrain, arriving in Karachi on 11 December 1955. After three-days rest the aircraft return to Canada on 17 December 1955 via of Bahrain, Malta, Langar and Keflavik.
The Government of Canada had donated $50,000 for each country, including blankets and medical supplies.
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