The Royal Australian Navy’s heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk has started humanitarian operations off the coast of the Tongan island of Niuatoputapu following the Tsunami that ravaged the island in September.

HMAS Tobruk has deployed a landing craft mechanised (LCM) and two lighter amphibious resupply carriages (LARC-V) to transport supplies and reconstruction material provided by Australian Government’s overseas aid (AusAID) programme to the communities of Niuatoputapu.

As part of Operation Samoa Assist the ship will deliver over 500t of equipment and public donations to help rebuild the vital infrastructure and ensure the people receive basic services such as power, water, health facilities and education.

The Tobruk will carry an AusAID relief package consisting of heavy earthmoving equipment for clearance and reconstruction work on the island as well as building materials and gardening supplies.

In addition, the aid delivery includes items donated by non-government organisations in Australia and a large consignment of donated goods from the Australian public.