Post sponsored by

Source: New Zealand Defence Force

17 April 2020

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130H Hercules aircraft will deliver tomorrow much-needed supplies to Fiji to help with relief efforts following Tropical Cyclone Harold.

The Hercules will fly to Nadi tomorrow morning to deliver tarpaulins, water containers, diesel generators, chainsaws, satellite phones and family hygiene supplies to assist with relief efforts.

New Zealanders in Fiji who were unable to leave on commercial flights because of COVID-19 restrictions will be on the return trip to Auckland.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) had been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver emergency supplies following the Category 5 cyclone, which caused extensive damage in the Pacific.

Earlier, an RNZAF P-3K2 Orion aircraft carried out aerial surveillance over Fiji and provided imagery to the Fiji Government to help it assess the damage, including in remote areas, and determine how to respond to the disaster.

The NZDF also remained on standby to provide further assistance to Vanuatu if required, Rear Admiral Gilmour said.

Last weekend an RNZAF Hercules delivered cans of water, chainsaw kits, agricultural tool kits and some satellite phones to Vanuatu. Also on board was a privately owned Robinson R66 helicopter to be used in the relief efforts.

With no reported cases of COVID-19 in Vanuatu, extra care was taken to avoid any possible transferral of the virus, with all cargo disinfected before it left New Zealand and again when it arrived at Port Vila.

The NZDF was ready and able to provide assistance to New Zealand’s Pacific neighbours in relief efforts following the cyclone, Rear Admiral Gilmour said.