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RNZAF Hercules transports more aid to Vanuatu

Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel load a C130H Hercules with aid bound for Vanuatu. Supplied photos.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is taking more aid to Vanuatu after the Government of the Pacific Island nation requested further assistance following Tropical Cyclone Harold.

On Monday morning, a RNZAF Hercules C-130H departed RNZAF Base Auckland with another 13,594kg of supplies to help with the relief and recovery efforts.

Air Component Commander Air Commodore Tim Walshe says the category five Tropical Cyclone Harold had caused widespread devastation to crops, buildings and infrastructure, leaving many thousands of people homeless and relying on aid for food and essential supplies.

The New Zealand Defence Force has been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the delivery of relief supplies. 

Last month, the RNZAF carried out four aid flights to Vanuatu and another two to Fiji.

Air Commodore Walshe says a further request for assistance had been made by the government of Vanuatu, which the RNZAF was pleased to be able to support.

A RNZAF C130H Hercules aircraft departs RNZAF Base Auckland for Vanuatu.

“We have sent another RNZAF Hercules to Vanuatu today carrying agricultural tools, family hygiene kits and products for mothers and babies, as well as tarpaulins and rope for building shelters.

“As always we stand ready to do more and we hope the arrival of these supplies will bring some comfort to those people so badly affected by the cyclone.”

As with the previous aid flights, extra precautions have been taken to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19, which has included air load teams operating in work bubbles, sanitising the cargo before it was loaded and again on unloading, as well as personal hygiene and other measures by personnel.

The freight today included 100 agricultural tool kits, 100 family hygiene kits, 200 shelter tool kits, 150 mother and infant kits, 1391 tarpaulins and 25,000m of rope for tarpaulins.

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