17 Jan 2014

France and China send aid to cyclone-hit Tonga

2:27 pm on 17 January 2014

A French plane carrying relief goods from New Caledonia is expected to arrive in cyclone-damaged Tonga today.

On board the aircraft are military doctors and specialists in logistics, maintenance and aircraft loading, to help with an assessment of the post-cyclone situation.

It will arrive on the island of Lifuka, part of the Ha'apai island group.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has donated 27,000 US dollars worth of food items to Tonga, to be distributed to those in need after Cyclone Ian.

Radio Tonga says the Chinese Ambassador, Huang Hua-guang, presented the items to the Tongan prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, says the donation will be sent on the next vessel to Ha'apai.