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NZ to provide funding for relief efforts after Vanuatu ravaged by cyclone

Image: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department

NZ to provide funding for relief efforts after Vanuatu ravaged by cyclone

New Zealand foreign minister Winston Peters has announced $500,000 in funding to help the Government of Vanuatu in relief efforts after the nation was hit by a category 5 cyclone.

NZ to provide funding for relief efforts after Vanuatu ravaged by cyclone

Tropical Cyclone Harold lashed Vanuatu on Monday and Tuesday, with winds as high as 235 kilometres an hour.

With phone lines cut as the storm made its way through the Pacific nation, it has been difficult to ascertain the extent of the destruction from the cyclone.

However, in addition to damage to telecommunications networks, early reports show Cyclone Harold has caused major damage to homes, public buildings, infrastructure and crops.

Images have emerged of buildings flattened, roofs blown off houses and trees torn down.

New Zealand has also deployed a New Zealand Defence Force P3 Orion for aerial surveillance of the damage from the cyclone.

“At the request of the Government of Vanuatu, New Zealand deployed an NZDF P3 Orion this morning to undertake aerial surveillance of the damage,” said Peters in a statement.

“New Zealand has also made available $500,000 funding to respond to requests from the Government of Vanuatu to procure relief items and assess needs and impacts, and for the release of essential relief items already available on the ground.

“These are held in partnership with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Vanuatu.

“Assessment of the damage is ongoing, and we will consider any further assistance if requested from the Government of Vanuatu.

“We are aware that the Government of Vanuatu is running a ‘keep it out’ strategy, and we will give serious consideration to ensure that any response to the Cyclone does not lead to the spread of COVID-19 to Vanuatu.”

 

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