Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Aussie rapid assessment team deploys to Vanuatu

AUSTRALIA/VANUATU

An Australian Department of Foreign Affairs rapid assessment team have been flown in to Vanuatu to assess cyclone damage, along with a delivery of initial emergency supplies.

Responding to a request from the Government of Vanuatu to support a survey of damage in the country, the Australian Royal Air Force (RAAF) also provided a C130-J and a 464 Squadron imagery specialist to conduct an aerial damage assessment with government officials.

A 36 Squadron C-17A Globemaster III transported an initial assistance package along with the multi-agency Australian Rapid Assessment Team.

Working closely with Pacific partners such as France and New Zealand, the team’s immediate priority on arriving in Vanuatu was to gain a clearer picture of the extent of damage caused by Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin, which struck in close succession in the first week of March.

Team member, Barnaby Caddy said the team consisted of officers from Australian Federal, State and Territory partners.

“The team has a range of disaster, health, infrastructure, power and humanitarian assessment capabilities,” Mr Caddy said.

“We also have three members from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade crisis response team to provide coordination and liaison support.”

The British High Commissioner was on hand to see the unloading of UK assistance, transported by the ADF on behalf of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

As soon as the pallets were deposited into the handling area, supplies were repacked onto government light trucks for distribution to areas of need.

The rapid assessment team was met by the Australian High Commissioner at the airport and left immediately to begin it assessments and advise on the recovery process.

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