Home / PRESS RELEASE / ENGLISH VERSION / Tongan Deputy PM surveys Cyclone Gita recovery with ADF

Tongan Deputy PM surveys Cyclone Gita recovery with ADF

E-mail Print PDF

15th June, 2018 Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, the Hon Semisi Sika and other senior government representatives, have surveyed areas of Tongatapu and ‘Eua damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita earlier this year with the Australian Defence Force. Two helicopters from HMAS Adelaide transported Deputy Prime Semisi Sika, Lord Speaker Fakafanua, Disaster Management Minister Poasi Tei and MP for ‘Eua Tevita Lavemaauover the islands to inspect recovery progress from the air.

HMAS Adelaide is alongside Vuna Wharf in Nuku’alofa for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018 (IPE), one of the Australian Defence Force’s most significant regional engagement activities.
IPE is focussed on enhancing existing joint capability through bilateral training and engagement activities with Australia’s regional partners.

Captain Jim Hutton of the Royal Australian Navy joined the survey flight and said the damage caused on Tongatapu and the neighbouring island of ‘Eua was clear evidence that regional partnerships were vital during natural disasters.

“Tropical Cyclone Gita was last season’s most severe cyclone in the South Pacific. The fact that so many people lost their homes or crops here in Tonga is truly saddening.”

“The Australian Government was able to provide emergency supplies via the Royal Australian Air Force the day after Gita made landfall, delivering life-saving equipment, emergency shelters, and kitchen and hygiene kits.”

“Our ability to respond so quickly during natural disasters is borne from our long history of working together and continuing to engage through activities like Indo-Pacific Endeavour.”

Australian High Commissioner to Tonga Andrew Ford said “Australia has provided $14 million in assistance and support to help the people of Tonga recover and rebuild following Cyclone Gita.”

“Today’s survey flight allowed senior Tongan government ministers to survey the damage and recovery on ‘Eua for the first time since the cyclone.”

Australian High Commission, Nuku’alofa
Private Bag 35, Nuku’alofa, Kingdom of Tonga
Telephone: (676) 20400 Facsimile: (676) 23243
Search for us on Facebook: Australia in Tonga




Who's Online

We have 249 guests online