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NZ Assistance To Cyclone-Ravaged Tongan Islands

New Zealand will provide around NZ$700,000 worth of assistance towards emergency relief and reconstruction on the cyclone-ravaged islands of Vava’u and Niuatoputapu in Tonga said New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff.

Mr Goff has approved the assistance and the despatch of an RNZAF relief flight to deliver emergency supplies.

“The effects of Cyclone Waka on the northern Tongan islands of Vava’u and the Niuas are the worst in living memory. Buildings on both island groups have sustained serious damage with 300 houses and six schools totally destroyed and up to 600 houses and 16 schools damaged. Vava’u’s electricity supply has been disrupted and cash and food crops wiped out.

“New Zealand will expend up to $200,000 from emergency disaster relief funds on emergency lighting and cooking, restoring local food supplies, a portable generator for the main water supply chlorinator and insecticides for disease prevention. A RNZAF C130 Hercules is likely to be required to airlift supplies to Vava’u.

“A further $500,000 from New Zealand’s bilateral assistance programme to Tonga will be used to rebuild and repair damaged schools. This work will need to be carried out with some urgency given the start of the new school year in a few weeks time.

“New Zealand is coordinating its assistance with Australia and France to ensure the needs of those affected are fully met,” Mr Goff said.


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