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More aid and personnel flown to Papua New Guinea

An Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft deployed by the New Zealand Defence Force to Papua New Guinea helps airlift food, water and medical supplies from the capital Port Moresby to the quake-damaged Highlands region on Tuesday.

The New Zealand Defence Force  will fly an additional 10 tonnes of aid and six air load specialists to Papua New Guinea on Thursday.

Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, says six members of the Air Loading Team and a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft would be delivering emergency supplies to remote areas of Papua New Guinea’s Highlands region that were devastated by last week’s earthquake.

“The distribution of relief supplies has been hampered by the extensive damage to roads and airports, as well as the remoteness of the hard-hit areas. We are continuing to provide airlift support to help the Papua New Guinea Government address this bottleneck,” says Major General Gall.

“We have been working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and we remain ready to provide further assistance if required.”

New Zealand’s second aid shipment would include 800 tarpaulins, 500 family hygiene kits and 300 mother and infant kits, says Major General Gall.

An RNZAF C-130 aircraft that delivered about eight tonnes of aid on Monday has been helping airlift food, water and medical supplies from Port Moresby to Moro Airport in the Southern Highlands.

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on 25 February, triggering massive landslides and causing extensive damage to roads, airports, hospitals and other infrastructure. 

On Tuesday authorities updated the death toll from the quake to 122 as the scale of the disaster began to emerge.

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