AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT ARRIVED TO ASSIST

The Royal Australian Air Force air craft. Photo credit: Australia in Solomon Islands Facebook page.

The Royal Australian Air Force air craft. Photo credit: Australia in Solomon Islands Facebook page.

A Royal Australian Air Force C-130 aircraft has arrived in Honiara to assist relief efforts in flood-affected Solomon Islands.

In a brief statement on its social media network, Australia in Solomon Islands says the aircraft transported a 12-person civilian and defense reconnaissance team to assist the country recover.

It adds, the team will work with the Australian High Commission Emergency Response Team to undertake engineering and humanitarian needs assessments.

The Government of Australia has recently announced an additional 1.6 million to assist the government’s flood recovery efforts.

Meanwhile, Australia’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Andrew Byrne today accompanied an Australian civil-military engineering team to assess the damage and repair needs of the Mataniko Bridge.

The team worked with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and local contractors to undertake the assessment.

Two additional Australian engineers will arrive overnight to provide further assistance.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Humanitarian Team, PHT, has begun deployments to Honiara today.

This is in support of the Government’s response to flash floods which devastated the capital and other parts of the country last week.

A statement today confirms that Ms Osnat Lubrani, United Nation’s Resident Coordinator for Solomon Islands and co-chair of the PHT, is in Honiara to meet with the Government, donors and humanitarian partners to determine where PHT expertise and supplies are most needed.

Ms Lubrani says PHT is committed to working with the Government across all response areas, including coordination, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

PHT also share its deepest sympathy to the Government and people of Solomon Islands for the loss of lives and destruction of homes and infrastructure.

SIBC News understands outside assistance started pouring in after Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and the Minister responsible for Environment, Bradley Tovosia declared worst-hit Honiara and other areas of Guadalcanal Province as ‘disaster zone’ last week.

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