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3rd escort fleet survives fierce storms in Indian Ocean
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China's third naval escort taskforce has survived fierce storms in the Indian Ocean. The fleet is on its way to waters off the coast of Somalia, to escort merchant vessels and protect them from pirates. Amid a strong ocean swell and gale force winds, the flotilla changed its route to avoid danger.

The fleet was expected to cross the Indian Ocean through the northeastern part of the Arabian Sea. That was the center of the surging storm, with five to six-meter-high waves and up to force 8 sea winds. The voyage was risky.

The taskforce command decided to adjust the route out of safety concerns on Sunday. The warships then headed on for the Gulf of Aden along the edge of the storm.

Hu Raoxing, Commanding Officer of 3rd Chinese Naval Escort Task Force, said, "Although we made a detour of more than a hundred nautical miles, the adjustment has protected the fleet against possible danger caused by the waves and wind."

After around its 72-hour voyage, the flotilla was finally out of danger. It's now heading to the waters off Somalia to join the second escort fleet.

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