The people affected by cyclone Donna on Torres islands in Torba Province have started receiving emergency supplies from the government and humanitarian aid groups.

Last weekend a helicopter that has been chartered distributed the first load of urgent supplies.

On Sunday May 14, the French Navy Boat ‘La Glorieuse’ transported 200 cartons of water to Hiu Island following reports of contaminated water and illness.

The following day, two other vessels: ‘Pacific Hope’ tasked by Ministry of Health and ‘Southern Cross’ tasked by Anglican Church, departed from Port Vila with relief supplies.

According to the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) website, France, Australia and New Zealand (FRANZ) agreed to provide funding to transport personnel and relief supplies.

A multi-sectoral damage assessment team that spent the weekend in the Torres Group to conduct damage assessment has revealed from its findings that a number of aid posts and some schools, including Robin Primary School in Loh have been severely damaged.

Many homes were also destroyed, the team reported.

The severe cyclone which remained in the north for almost a week has damaged crops in the gardens, and according to the assessment, there is sufficient food supply for two weeks only after the cyclone.

A fear among the locals now is the outbreak of diarrhea due to water contamination.

Meanwhile, an initial assessment conducted by Sanma Provincial Emergency Operation Centre last week also highlighted the outbreak of red eye infection.

Based on the assessment report, the NDMO has worked with partners to provide needed relief supplies.

The relief supplies will be transported to Torres islands by Vanuatu Patrol Boat RVS Tukoro, which departed Port Vila yesterday. This is being supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Aid.

There is a need for ongoing assessments in affected areas.

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