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Australian assistance for Samoa.

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Media Release

30 September 2009

Australian assistance for Samoa In response to Samoa’s request for help following today’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Australia will send medical personnel and urgently needed disaster relief supplies.

A chartered aircraft is scheduled to depart from Brisbane to Samoa at 2.00am Australian Eastern Standard Time tomorrow morning with medical personnel from Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

The flight will also carry Australian Government personnel from AusAID, Emergency Management Australia, the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

A Defence C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying humanitarian supplies will depart from Richmond tomorrow.

This response is part of a $2 million initial package of support to help Samoa respond to the immediate aftermath of the tsunami.

Australia’s initial package of support includes disaster relief items such as tents, tarpaulins, blankets, mosquito nets and water containers.

Australia extends its condolences to the communities affected by the tsunami, which has caused large scale devastation in the southern region of Samoa.

Australia stands ready to offer further assistance to Samoa and other Pacific countries.

Today, the travel advice issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was reissued.

In the wake of the tsunami, Australians are now advised to reconsider their need to travel to Samoa. As tourist areas have been particularly affected, tourists should consider postponing travel to Samoa at this time.

Travel advice for Samoa is available on the Smartraveller website.

Australians who have concerns for the welfare of family and friends in Samoa should first attempt to contact them directly or call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on (02) 6261 3305 or within Australia on 1300 555 135 (for the cost of a local call).

Media inquiries:

• Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 • Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555