Cyclone Winston: 100 tonnes of emergency supplies arrive

A destroyed home south of Rakiraki, after Cyclone Winston hit Fiji and caused loss of lives and extensive damage. Photo / Brett Phibbs
A destroyed home south of Rakiraki, after Cyclone Winston hit Fiji and caused loss of lives and extensive damage. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Humanitarian work continued today in the aftermath of the devastating Cyclone Winston, with the New Zealand Defence Force delivering more than a hundred tonnes of emergency supplies to Fiji.

HMNZS Canterbury arrived this morning loaded with building materials, water storage tanks, food, water and medical supplies for the storm-ravaged nation.

The multi-role vessel also carried a Seasprite helicopter, 45 vehicles, two landing craft and around 300 soldiers, navy personnel, aircrew, engineers and medical staff.

Task group commander Colonel Glenn King said the defence personnel were working alongside the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to clear roads and repair schools and community buildings affected by the cyclone.

"We work to the Fiji Government's priorities and their request to us is to get food, water and shelter to the disaster-struck remote communities in the northern outlying islands," he said.

The Canterbury's commanding officer, Commander Simon Rooke, said the ship was sailing to the northern Lau group with 20 engineers from the Fiji military and 20 staff from the country's Ministry of Education, who would assess affected schools in remote islands.

"The entire ship's company are eager to get out there, roll up our sleeves and help our Fijian neighbours," he said.

Squadron Leader Ben Pryor of the Royal New Zealand Air Force said two NH90 multi-role helicopters would also be used to deliver aid to remote communities.

- NZ Herald

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