Australia and New Zealand evacuate their nationals

Australia and New Zealand evacuate their nationals

International – the long-awaited return home in the context of riots. On Tuesday 21 May, the first plane to evacuate Australian tourists and citizens, stranded in New Caledonia for a week, landed in Brisbane, Australia. It is also the first plane to leave French overseas territory since the unrest began on May 13. As you can see in the video above.

For several days, the Australian and New Zealand militaries had been waiting for the green light from French authorities to launch evacuation flights. In fact, the international airport in Noumea has been closed to commercial flights, leaving thousands of tourists stranded in the Oceanian archipelago.

French authorities said they removed dozens of roadblocks set up by separatists that closed roads between the city and the international airport, but the situation remained tense in some villages along the road. Eventually, two Australian and one New Zealand military planes took to the air to transport passengers from Noumea to Magenta Airport, which is usually reserved for domestic flights and is considered more accessible.

Sadness and relief

On Tuesday, May 21, a long line of passengers waited on the airport tarmac to board the Australian military aircraft, a Royal Australian Air Force C130 Hercules. The Australian authorities announced that they had registered 300 evacuation requests from its citizens. The exact number of passengers departing on Tuesday was not immediately determined.

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I'm just happy to see my family and feel great “, explained Chris Salmon on Australian television, once he was reunited with his loved ones. The Australian worked in New Caledonia for 20 years in the mining sector, according to the Reuters news agency. ” “What is happening there is very sad, it is terrible and senseless.”he added.

A New Zealand Defense Force aircraft will transport him “50 passengers with urgent needs”According to Secretary of State Winston Peters. “In cooperation with France and Australia, we are working on the next flights in the coming days.”He said.

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