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Families being evacuated from cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu by Air Force C-130 Hercules
17 March 2015
The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is continuing aid flights and repatriation from cyclone ravaged Vanuatu today with a Boeing 757 and C-130 Hercules aircraft leaving this morning. Last night, 89 kiwis were returned home aboard two C-130 Hercules.
The Air Force brought the Kiwis home on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to reduce any backlog in travel by commercial carrier when flights resume. The New Zealand High Commission in Port Vila allocated space on the flights on a needs basis with priority being given to those with medical conditions, the elderly and families with very young children.
Yesterday morning, the two aircraft flew tonnes of essential aid to Vanuatu, along with specialist personnel from various agencies and an Air Force aero-medical evacuation team.
Aircraft captain Squadron Leader Matt Ferris, flying the second of yesterday’s missions, said from Port Vila airport that he had 51 people being repatriated on his aircraft, and there were 38 on the other Hercules. “I’m very happy we can help them get home, and we’re proud to be part of this international effort to help neighbours in need. It’s what we train for. But it’s very sad to witness the carnage and disaster. People here will be living with the consequences of this for years.”
An RNZAF Boeing 757 will leave for Vanuatu today at 9am and a C-130 Hercules at 12pm.
For more information please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980.