Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Spey (Picture: MOD).
HMS Spey will arrive in Tonga later today (Picture: MOD).

Navy delivering relief to Tonga after devastating tsunami

Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Spey (Picture: MOD).
HMS Spey will arrive in Tonga later today (Picture: MOD).

The Royal Navy is working with Australia and New Zealand to deliver disaster relief to tsunami-hit Tonga.

HMS Spey is sailing to the area, after lives were lost when a once-in-a-thousand-year volcanic eruption ripped through the islands and caused catastrophic damage.

The offshore patrol vessel will support humanitarian efforts in the region.

The River-class vessel will sail for Tonga later today, carrying water and medical equipment.

Spey has deployed to the Indo-Pacific region for five years to offer quick response to security threats.

Other UK-funded supplies have been sent on the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Adelaide, which is heading to the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa.

The items include 90 family tents and six wheelbarrows.

Watch: HMS Tamar and HMS Spey set sail for the Indo-Pacific region in September.

The UK has also offered to pay for the deployment of crisis experts through the United Nations, with the aim of helping to co-ordinate the international response with Tongan authorities.

A total of £345,000 has been released by the British-funded International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).

In addition, the UK has offered to fund the deployment of crisis experts through the United Nations. They would also support the Tongan authorities to co-ordinate the international response.

Royal Navy exchange officer Lieutenant Greenfield is on board HMNZS Wellington, as the officer in charge of the team surveying of Nuku'alofa's harbour.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "In response to the devastating eruption in the Pacific Ocean I have instructed HMS Spey to sail to Tonga to assist in the humanitarian aid operation.

"The UK will work closely with Australia and New Zealand to assist the recovery effort in Tonga and stands ready to support our long-standing Commonwealth partner."