The Royal New Zealand Air Force has deployed four NH90 helicopters to help evacuate a large number of tourists and residents from Kaikoura, which was badly affected by the massive earthquake on Monday morning.
CAPTION: A Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter begins evacuating tourists and residents from Kaikoura, north of Christchurch. NZDF photo.
Air Commodore Darryn Webb, Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the NZDF had mobilised additional assets to support the government’s response to the earthquake, and had been working with the Ministry of Civil Defence to ensure the lifelines and basic needs of the Kaikoura community were met.
“Our priority today is to evacuate the tourists and residents of Kaikoura who have been displaced by the earthquake and are now being accommodated at a local marae and various community buildings,” Air Commodore Webb said.
“About 5000kg of aid supplies earmarked for Kaikoura are currently at Christchurch and include food, water and hygiene products, as well as jerrycans of diesel.
“The aid supplies were from the Ministry of Civil Defence, Red Cross and the NZDF.”
He said several international partners had also offered to lend a hand, and those offers of assistance were being considered.
Hundreds of Defence Force personnel, at least eight aircraft and two ships are currently assisting in the Government’s earthquake response.
Fast facts – NZDF support to earthquake-recovery efforts:
Four NH90 medium utility helicopters
One A109 helicopter
One SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopter
One C-130 Hercules
One P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft
Multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury
Offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington
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