RFMF Team Ready For Lau, Tonga

30 personnel on standby for Lau Group, 50 on standby to be deployed to Tonga to assist after volcano eruption
19 Jan 2022 10:54
 RFMF Team Ready For Lau, Tonga
Republic of Fiji Military Forcers soldiers, Sapper Eremasi Vasu (left), and Sapper Walosi Naiduki at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua on January 18, 2022. They are gearing up for their deployment to Tonga to help with rehabilitation efforts. Photo: Leon Lord.

Our soldiers are on standby to head to Lau and Tonga to help rehabili­tation efforts.

This follows the dev­astating impacts of the Hunga Tonga- Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which erupt­ed in Tonga over the weekend. Its effects were also felt on islands in the Lau group with tidal waves damaging houses on the islands.

Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), Major-Gen­eral Ro Jone Kalouniwai, said about 30 personnel were on standby for the Lau deployment while 50 were on standby for Tonga.

“We have had the discussions with the Government about three days ago and we have set aside a team which is on standby for the two deployments,” Major-General Kalouniwai said.

He said the team to Lau were waiting on word from the National Disaster Management Office on when the deployment for damage assessments and relief distribution were expected to leave Suva.

For the Tongan deployment, he said they were waiting for the Tongan government for the necessary approvals.

“Our Government has offered that assistance and part of that is what we can also provide as well.”

Major-General Kalouniwai said the RFNS Savenaca and MV Veivueti were also on standby for the teams to the Lau group.

“This is part of the NDMO and Government that will be taking relief assistance to the Lau group.

“For Tonga, there are 50 men engineers that are on standby for the deployment, but this will depend on the word from the Tongan Government and the arrangement with our defence partners for the lift capabilities as well.”

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, David Kolitagane, has confirmed that Government was organising the relief efforts for the Lau group which was expected to be deployed soon.



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