The New Zealand Defence Force has delivered two more tonnes of supplies to Vanuatu today to help thousands of evacuees displaced by an erupting volcano.
Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, says a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft was transporting sanitation equipment for the estimated 11,000 evacuees from Ambae Island, where Manaro volcano has been rumbling since late September.
The plane landed in Vanuatu about 1pm New Zealand time.
“We always stand ready to assist our Pacific neighbours at times like this,” says Major General Gall.
“Supporting the South West Pacific has always been a key focus for the NZDF because of its geographical proximity and cultural links with New Zealand.”
The supplies include 100 mother-and-infant kits, 200 family hygiene kits and 15 portable toilets.
On Tuesday the NZDF delivered 12 tonnes of supplies for Ambae Island evacuees. The supplies, worth $250,000, included 800 tarpaulins, 800 family hygiene kits, 200 mother-and-infant kits and five diesel generators.
Since the Vanuatu Government ordered the compulsory evacuation of Ambae last week the island’s residents have reportedly sought refuge in the surrounding islands of Espiritu Santo, Maewo and Pentecost. Some have moved to stay with friends and relatives in the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila.