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The European Commission has mobilised its emergency assistance tools following significant damage caused by tropical cyclone Gita in the South Pacific, in particular on the islands of Tonga. Initial emergency assistance of €100,000 has been released to the disaster fund of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help provide life-saving aid, starting from the most urgent needs for shelter, water and sanitation, as well as health assistance.
The Commission has also activated the European satellite mapping system Copernicus, which has already provided maps of some of the most affected areas of the archipelago. "Many people have been severely affected and the European Union has provided an initial amount of emergency assistance to support the work of the first responders on the ground to deliver vital assistance to the worst-hit parts of the impacted islands. Our thoughts go to the families of the victims and to all those affected," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. A Commission humanitarian expert has also been dispatched for a rapid assessment of the situation on the ground. The Commission's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring the situation on the islands and in the region.