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Loaded up . Organiser Maiele Amosa-Paia was "overwhelmed" by the response to the Pacific Island community's request for supplies for Samoa. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

A care package of medical supplies and necessities is on its way from Oamaru to Samoa as the island nation grapples with a measles epidemic.

The death toll is now 70 people.

With many Oamaru residents having close ties to the the Pacific Islands, the community gave generously to a campaign for support, organiser Maiele Amosa-Paia said.

“There were a few inquiries from the public who wanted to donate and help in some way, so I teamed some local Samoan women and it took about five days to organise logistics,” Mrs Amosa-Paia said.

The Oamaru group liaised with a Samoan business owner in Auckland who was organising a container to be shipped to the island.

Mrs Amosa-Paia, who is the secretary of the Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group, had intended to drive the trailer of supplies to Christchurch on Sunday, but the closure of State Highway 1 due to flooding delayed her delivery until Wednesday.

But that meant more donations were accepted, and Mrs Paia-Amosa said they were still coming in right until the trailer departed on Wednesday.

“They asked for nappies, gloves, surgical masks, disposable sheets, juice for the children, children books and activities, and cereal boxes,” she said.

“We pretty much got everything that was on that list – we are totally overwhelmed with our community response in such a short amount of time.”