New Zealand Defence Force aids Indonesian tsunami survivors

The New Zealand Defence Force was welcomed with cheers and sighs of relief as they rescued 120 survivors from the Indonesian city of Palu.

Many of the survivors had slept outdoors for days after their city was devastated by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami last week.

They crammed in to the New Zealand Hercules to be taken to the port city of Balikpapan, roughly 380 kms west of Palu.

"Seeing them smile and seeing them give us a thumbs-up when they jumped on the plane and when we took off was a really incredible, really proud moment for the guys," said Flight Lt Dave Natapu.

The Hercules also brought a delivery of 10 and a half tonnes of supplies.

 "When we landed and opened up the plane the Indonesian Army came up and the kind of saw what was in the back and they started singing and cheering," said Flight Lt Natapu.

Communication in the affected areas is poor, but a World Vision Australia Chief Advocate Tim Costello said any supplies were helpful.

"It's just apocalyptic in the scale and size. The New Zealand supplies are desperately needed," he said.

The New Zealand Airforce will continue to evacuate survivors and transport aid for at least another week.