Five NZDF trucks left Timaru at 5am today to patrol flooded communities in South Canterbury throughout the day and ensure the residents have evacuated to safer ground. Two NZDF trucks conducted similar patrols from midnight until dawn on Saturday.
22 July 2017
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) mobilised an additional 120 troops overnight to help flood-stricken areas in Canterbury and Otago.
It has now deployed at least a dozen trucks, 140 personnel and an ambulance to help tackle the floods. Two of the trucks were dispatched to Oamaru last night to deliver 1000 sandbags and six civilian firefighters.
“We are working with Civil Defence authorities to make sure people in affected areas get the help that they need,” Brigadier Mike Shapland, the Land Component Commander, said.
“We have personnel and assets on standby and can mobilise them at short notice, if needed.”
The Twin Peaks Battle Tab, a gruelling 26-kilometre race up the highest peaks surrounding Dunedin that was organised by the 2nd/4th Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR), had been cancelled and 120 NZDF personnel taking part had been reassigned to support the disaster relief efforts, Brigadier Shapland said.
Eight members of the Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 Scots), who are here for the Twin Peaks race, have also been helping in the relief effort.
Lieutenant Cam Howell, who is leading the 20-member NZDF contingent in South Canterbury, said soldiers helped paramedics evacuate an elderly man suffering from chest pain south of Timaru just before midnight overnight.
Five NZDF trucks left Timaru at 5am today to patrol flooded communities in South Canterbury and ensure residents have evacuated to safer ground. Two NZDF trucks conducted similar patrols from midnight until dawn today.
In Dunedin, soldiers rescued last night nine civilians whose vehicles were caught in floodwater in Mosgiel.
“We found them in the nick of time – they were suffering from hypothermia,” Major Keryn Robertson, Officer Commanding the Bravo Company RNZIR, said.