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'Sizeable and very capable' ADF crew arrives in Vanuatu after twin cyclone disaster

Speaking to the ABC on HMAS Canberra, Colonel Douglas Pashley said the Australian Defence Force troops were "really excited to be here".

"The priority is to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief assistance to support the people of Vanuatu," he said.

"We have a sizeable and very capable force here. 

"There's a lot we can do and we're just looking forward to working with the people of Vanuatu and to get into it."

HMAS Canberra left Sydney for Port Vila on Sunday with more than 600 Australian Defence Force personnel on board, along with humanitarian supplies.

A small Australian rapid assistance team had already arrived in the country, and Australian aircraft have conducted aerial surveillance of the worst-affected areas.

The twin cyclones destroyed crops and village gardens, sparking concerns of a looming food shortage.  

Some remote areas of the country rely on garden produce for food, but communications are still down and many areas are yet to be reached.  

In the capital Port Vila, residents are still picking up the pieces and many are without power.

Resident Alan Sovuai said many people's homes had been destroyed and they had nowhere to sleep. 

"In my area, we're still cleaning up," he said. "And we'll be cleaning for a long time. It's going slow. 

"And I'm concerned about my family [in the regional province of Malampa]. I can't get through to them because the network is down, and I don't know if they're OK."  

Photo ADF/Twitter  Caption HMAS Canberra arrives in Port Vila