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NZ assistance to cyclone-hit Tonga

Hon Murray McCully

Minister of Foreign Affairs

12 January 2014       

Media Statement       
 
NZ assistance to cyclone-hit Tonga

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced New Zealand will assist with the immediate response effort following Tropical Cyclone Ian in Tonga.

"An RNZAF P3 Orion arrived in Tonga this morning to assist with aerial assessments following Tropical Cyclone Ian.  We will also make $50,000 immediately available to respond to specific requests for assistance," Mr McCully says.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Tonga as they begin to come to terms with the damaged caused by this cyclone."

Early reports suggest damage to buildings in parts of Ha’apai, limited communications and power outages. More details will become available as Tongan authorities make assessments today.

Mr McCully says further support will be considered as the full extent of the damage becomes clear and the Government of Tonga determines its priority response areas.

New Zealanders in Tonga are advised to follow the advice of the local authorities (including any evacuation orders), seek suitable shelter, monitor local media for updates, and keep friends and family in New Zealand informed of their well-being. If they require consular advice they should contact the New Zealand High Commission in Nuku’ alofa.

ENDS

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