NZDF Aid Convoy Arrives in Kaikoura
A convoy of 27 New Zealand Defence Force trucks braved bad weather and risks of further landslides to bring much-needed fuel and water supplies to quake-damaged Kaikoura this afternoon.
18 November 2016
A convoy of 27 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) trucks braved bad weather and risks of further landslides to bring much-needed fuel and water supplies to quake-damaged Kaikoura this afternoon.
“Fuel supplies in Kaikoura have been running low for days. And with debris blocking off the main route to the town, a resupply was out of the question. So this is fantastic news for the community that our trucks finally got through,” Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said.
The convoy ferried 7320 litres of diesel and 1540 litres of petrol for Kaikoura’s petrol stations and emergency services. It also brought 10,000 litres of potable water for distribution and nine Army chefs who will cater for the 250 patients at Kaikoura Hospital.
MAJGEN Gall said five of the Defence Force trucks will go to Culverden in North Canterbury tomorrow to get further supplies. The rest will remain in Kaikoura to distribute drinking water and other aid supplies brought today by amphibious sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury.
Up to 16 more Defence Force trucks will be dispatched from Burnham Military Camp on Saturday morning to pick up food and other aid supplies for Kaikoura, he said.
Further evacuations were conducted today by the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s NH90 helicopters and HMNZS Canterbury following requests from at least 160 Kaikoura residents. Once completed, the latest evacuations will bring to about 860 the total number of people rescued.
“We started evacuating people early this afternoon, using our Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats,” said Commander Simon Rooke, the Commanding Officer of Canterbury.
He said the evacuees would remain on board overnight as the 216 tonnes of aid supplies brought from Lyttelton were still being offloaded.
Four maritime helicopters provided by Australia, Canada and the United States were working with Canterbury’s Seasprite helicopter to offload the aid supplies in underslung loads.
The NZDF has mobilised about 560 personnel, at least 11 aircraft and four ships to support the Government’s earthquake response.
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