New Zealand ready to assist Fiji after Cyclone TomasForeign Affairs
New Zealand has an Air Force C-130 Hercules on stand-by to head to Fiji as soon as weather conditions ease in the wake of Cyclone Tomas, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said today.
"Fiji authorities have declared a state of disaster and requested international assistance," Mr McCully said.
"New Zealand is working closely with our partners under FRANZ - the joint France, Australia and New Zealand disaster relief arrangement - on how to best respond to the situation in Fiji.
"The Hercules is able to carry emergency supplies to Fiji, and also assist with aerial reconnaissance of outer islands that were in the path of Cyclone Tomas.
"Cyclone Tomas has forced more than 18,000 Fijians into evacuation centres, and local accounts put the cyclone as one of the worst to hit Fiji in 20 years.
"New Zealand always stands willing to help the people of Fiji in the face of natural disasters, and our on-going political differences with the interim government will not inhibit our response," Mr McCully said.