23 April 2020
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is continuing to take aid to Pacific countries to help relief efforts following Tropical Cyclone Harold.
The category five cyclone caused extensive damage to crops and houses.
Yesterday a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130H Hercules flew to Fiji, delivering supplies including tarpaulins, tools, generators and personal hygiene kits.
It was the second flight to Fiji, following one last weekend.
RNZAF Hercules aircraft have also made two trips to Vanuatu, delivering vital supplies to Port Vila.
Shortly after the cyclone swept through the Pacific, RNZAF P-3K2 Orion aircraft carried out aerial surveillance over Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu, to help the governments of those countries assess the damage and determine how to respond to the disaster.
The NZDF has been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver the emergency supplies. New Zealanders who have been unable to get home on commercial flights because of the COVID-19 restrictions have returned on the Hercules.
Air Component Commander Air Commodore Tim Walshe said extra precautions were being taken to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19. This included air load teams operating in work bubbles, sanitising the cargo before it was loaded and again after unloading, as well as personal hygiene and other measures by personnel. Medical teams have also been on hand to assist where required.
The Hercules that went to Fiji yesterday carried 500 family hygiene kits, 100 kits for mothers and babies, 300 tool kits, about 300 10-litre collapsible water containers, 840 tarpaulins, five petrol and five diesel generators.