NZ Navy successfully deliver critical supplies to Tonga

Source: 1News

The New Zealand Navy has delivered over 200,000 litres of water to Tonga, which has been distributed around communities on Tongatapu and the outer islands.

Speaking via satellite phone on Sunday morning, HMNZS Wellington Captain Simon Griffiths said his ship had offloaded 260,000 litres of water since arriving in the Kingdom two days ago.

The water had gone into tankers, water tanks and been bottled and delivered to the outer islands, Griffiths said.

It hadn't been an easy task. Tonga is Covid-free and naval forces were delivering the critical supplies in a contactless manner to avoid any possible spread of the virus.

The ship had also been surveying the area and taking note of the damage caused by the volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend.

"Nuku’alofa took the brunt of tsunami but not the ash cloud," Griffiths said.

"The western side of Tongatapu has suffered extensive damage. Our survey teams have also seen some extensive damage during their surveying of Ata Island."

There was also "a layer of ash across everything", but Griffiths reported the Tongan people were working hard to clear the ash from the roads, wharf and runway.

HMNZS Canterbury is set to arrive in the coming days with heavy-lift helicopters and an engineering taskforce, while HMS Adelaide is also coming to provide aid.

In preparation for their arrival, HMNZS Wellington and HMNZS Aotearoa would continue to survey the area and make sure all important waterways and wharfs were ready for ships to berth.

They would also provide critical fuel and water when required.