NZ Defence helps communities as Cyclone Gabrielle near

In advance of Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact on the upper North Island, a team that belongs from Deployable Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (DJIATF) in Wellington has travelled and visited to Auckland to prepare to support civil defence and emergency authorities.

Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour, Commander of Joint Forces New Zealand, stated that NZDF personnel were helping Auckland authorities with recovery activities after the flooding on January 27. “We’re also ready to respond in the case of a further emergency response,” he added.

Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management has requested assistance from the NZDF in putting its solid waste action plan’s urgent components into action.

The prospect of polluted garbage near houses endangering people’s health is a concern for Auckland’s government, as is the possibility that the more severe weather expected may cause massive curbside rubbish piles to endanger waterways.

Last week, teams of up to 30 Air Force and Navy members assisted locals in moving trash and items damaged by flooding to the curb so that Council Waste Solutions employees and vehicles could pick them up.

Auckland Emergency Management officials were carried on two flights on SH-2G(I) helicopters to help with the garbage disposal plan and to identify the most affected regions of rubbish build-up.

52 NZDF members from Devonport Naval Base and Royal NZ Air Force Base from Auckland (Whenuapai) were working yesterday to clean flood-damaged debris, including that near Riverhead.

A total of 100 soldiers (about 40 Army, 30 Air Force, and 30 Navy personnel) will be aiding with rubbish clearance by this afternoon. They will continue to work throughout the weekend to help clear waste before the predicted bad weather.

A liaison officer will be stationed in the Auckland Emergency Command Center to assist in task coordination. The Joint Command and Reconnaissance Team from the DJIATF will be based at RNZAF Base Auckland.

People from the DJIATF are among the NZDF’s first responders during emergencies like tsunamis and earthquakes.

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