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ADF Assists PNG In Disaster Relief Efforts

ADF assists PNG in disaster relief efforts

The Australian Government has begun delivering substantial disaster relief assistance to Papua New Guinea, following the terrible impact of flooding in Oro (Northern) Province caused by Cyclone Guba.

Bridges providing the main road access to Popondetta, the capital of Oro Province, have been cut and the town has very limited water and power supplies. According to some reports, around 150 people have lost their lives in the flooding and many thousands are homeless.

Australia received a request late yesterday to provide urgent assistance to support PNG's emergency operations. Defence has been working with AusAID and other agencies to establish the most effective response.

Two Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules transport aircraft carrying AusAID humanitarian stores and two Caribou transport aircraft departed for PNG today. Another Caribou and three Army Black Hawk helicopters will join the effort tomorrow to aid the internal relief effort.

A Navy heavy landing craft (LCH) has been placed on short notice to sail from Cairns if required by the PNG Government.

A health assessment team, AusAID disaster management experts and an engineering and infrastructure reconnaissance team will also deploy.

Their task will be to determine the most immediate needs for assistance and the most effective way to provide this support. A small ADF support and command element will also coordinate the deployment in close consultation with the PNG Government.


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