3 Oct 2009

Aid vessels to join Samoa relief effort

8:48 am on 3 October 2009

A French navy vessel, the Jacques Cartier, will set sail from New Caledonia for Samoa this weekend to provide additional supplies to the tsunami victims.

The aid is in addition to the two military aircraft that have been despatched from Noumea and French Polynesia.

The French assistance includes medical teams.

Our New Caledonia correspondent, Claudine Wery, says more aid is being readied.

"The navy [ship] Jacques Cartier will leave Noumea with a lot of relief and stuff from the Red Cross. The boat will leave this weekend. It is a five-day trip to Samoa."

Claudine Wery

A second New Zealand Defence Force helicopter is also to arrive in Samoa on Saturday, as aid efforts following this week's earthquake and tsunami move into high gear.

The Defence Force says the Iroquois will be taking assistance to wherever needed.

It says its 79 personnel, which include medics and engineers, will fan out across affected areas.

Further emergency supplies from New Zealand, including a water purification unit, will also arrive today.