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NZDF Engineers to Help in Cyclone Hit Fiji

NZ Army Engineers of 25 Engineer Support Squadron load a RNZAF C-130 Hercules at Nadi airport after arriving to assist in the relief operation following Tropical Cyclone Winston.
NZ Army Engineers of 25 Engineer Support Squadron load a RNZAF C-130 Hercules at Nadi airport after arriving to assist in the relief operation following Tropical Cyclone Winston.

25 February 2016

Thirty-seven New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) engineers have arrived in Suva to work alongside the Fijian military in supporting communities devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“The government of Fiji has requested our assistance in a range of tasks including clearing roads, assisting schools to reopen and constructing emergency shelters,” said Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.

“Very few homes in the outlying islands survived the ferocity of Cyclone Winston last weekend, and thousands of people remain in emergency shelters.”
MAJGEN Gall said the engineers will also help Fiji authorities assess damage to property and other infrastructure.

He said the NZDF was ready to deploy an additional 150 New Zealand Army engineers, drivers, sappers and medics with multi-role vessel HMNZS CANTERBURY to assist in Fiji’s disaster relief efforts.

Aerial surveillance conducted by a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft identified major property damage in the islands of Taveuni, Koro, and Lau, which are situated north of the capital Suva, and the northern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island.

The Orion has flown Fiji Government officials over the cyclone-ravaged areas.

A NZDF C-130 Hercules aircraft also delivered an additional 16 tonnes of emergency relief supplies yesterday.

Click here to view video footage of NZDF engineers getting ready to deploy to Fiji.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980

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