French relief supplies for Tonga

FRENCH Navy vess­el Bât­iment (B2M) D’ent­re­ca­st­eaux is on an urgent miss­ion to Tonga carrying re­lief supplies for the cyclone-ravaged island kingdom.

The multi-mission ship berthed yesterday at the Suva Kings Wharf to load relief supplies en route for Nuku’alofa, Tonga, from UNICEF and UNFPA.

French Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu, Sujiro Seam met a UN team briefly in Suva regarding the particulars and delivery of relief items to Tonga. It is understood that the relief items included tents, water tanks, plastic tarpaulins, medical and supplies including water purification kits.

“We sent our defence attaché from the embassy in Suva to Nuku’alofa for a first assessment of the needs and potential contribution of the D’entrecasteaux to the relief efforts following TC Gita,” Mr Seam said.

D’entrecasteaux skipper Lieutenant Commander CC Matthieu Ruf said the 31-member crew vessel was scheduled to reach Nuku’alofa tomorrow.

“We plan to help with our hands, we have 31 people on board, a few of them will have to stay on board because of their duties to keep watch, but the rest will help with reconstruction if need and manpower,” Lt-Cmdr Ruf said.

“I hope we will be able to detach up to 20 people per day to help people outside.”

The B2M D’entrecasteaux left Suva for Tonga last night.

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