The first foreign aid plane arrived in Tonga from New Zealand on Thursday, as disclosed by the New Zealand Defence force.

The C-130 Hercules military plane carrying temporary shelter kits, water containers, electricity generators, family kits and communications equipment landed at Tonga’s main Airport  at about 16:00 local time, after ashes from Volcanic eruptions which had earlier prevented relief planes from landing, was sweepped out of the Airport runways by local volunteers using wheelbarrows and shovels.

Hours later, The Australian Minister of Defence Peter Dutton, in a tweet revealed that the first relief plane from Australia had also landed. “The first of Australian humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies have landed in Tonga. Tonga is a very important member of our Pacific family and we have committed to supporting them however we can.”

Australian and New Zealand authorities have both confirmed that the aid drops will be contactless, to prevent the risk of Covid spreading to the island which has seen just one case of the virus since it’s outbreak.


“We are very respectful that the last thing that Tonga would need now is a Covid outbreak on top of this disaster,” New Zealand’s commander of joint forces Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said.

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