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Vanuabalavu Declared Priority Area: NDMO

The island of Vanuabalavu, one of the worst hit areas by  Tropical Cyclone Winston, has been declared a priority area by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). Yesterday, a New
29 Feb 2016 11:45
Vanuabalavu Declared Priority Area: NDMO
New Zealand naval ship Wellington berthed at Suva's King's wharf yesterday. pic.....RAMA

The island of Vanuabalavu, one of the worst hit areas by  Tropical Cyclone Winston, has been declared a priority area by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).

Yesterday, a New Zealand Defence Force offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington arrived in Suva with around 60 tonnes of aid supplies and 71 military personnel who will assist in disaster relief efforts.

The ship refuelled and headed to northern Lau with three more tonnes of food supplies along with six more personnel from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

The NZ military personnel on board HMNZS Wellington include five military hydrographers, a Rapid Environmental Assessment vessel from the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Littoral Warfare Unit, seven New Zealand Army engineers, three logisticians and one environmental health specialist.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Mark Ramsden said: “The NZ Defence Forces are mainly here to serve at Vanuabalavu and Northern Lau as selected by the National Disaster Management Office.

“The main task of the HMNZS Wellington is to do an assessment at Vanuabalavu and the Northern Lau before the arrival of the HMNZS Canterbury.

“It prepares the way for the HMNZS Canterbury which is a multi-role vessel for the Royal New Zealand Navy that will arrive in Suva on Thursday carrying 120 New Zealand Engineers and a small medical team and about 180 tonnes of supplies.”

Meanwhile, Minister for National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu said a Gounder Shipping vessel took food supplies, tents, tarpaulins along with civil servants and 25 soldiers to assist on the Vanuabalavu.

Mr Seruiratu said a Government vessel, MV Cagivou was also on standby.

He said communication could be made to the island by VTSet and roads had been re-opened.

Mr Seruiratu said they were working hard to see the people on Vanuabalavu return to normalcy.

 

Edited by Filipe Naigulevu

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