Aid to Gaza is continuing to depart from Cyprus regularly and will be held in floating storage off the coast while a US-built military pier undergoes repairs, the government spokesman said on Thursday.

Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said offloading has slowed down, but the sea corridor had not ceased operations.

The US military announced earlier in the week that a purpose-built jetty it anchored off Gaza’s coast to receive aid by sea was being temporarily removed after a part of the structure broke off in bad weather, two weeks after it started operating.

“The mechanism surrounding how the floating pier works allows for the possibility of floating storage off Gaza, with offloading to resume when conditions allow,” he said, blaming the problem on rough seas.

A Pentagon spokesperson said a portion of the pier had separated and that the pier would be towed to Ashdod port in Israel for repairs.

Letymbiotis said their information from the US was that the problem would be fixed in coming days and operation of the pier could ‘possibly’ resume by the middle of next week.

Eleven ship-shuttles of aid had left Cyprus since the operation started, with enough aid already disbursed to “provide food to tens of thousands of non-combatants for a month”, Letymbiotis said.

“The aim of offering humanitarian aid to 500,000 people a month is possible,” he said.

 “The expanding volume of humanitarian aid flows to be distributed to the civilian population is reflected in the relevant data and information.”

Based on these figures, it appears that around 14,000 pallets of humanitarian aid have arrived in Cyprus and 4,134 have already been dispatched after following all the procedures foreseen under the secure screening and departure mechanism established under the Amalthea plan.

Commenting further on the numbers, Letymbiotis said more than 2,000 pallets have already been transported and unloaded on the Gaza coast, while around 2,000 have been received for storage and distribution to the civilian population by humanitarian contractors operating in the strip.

“In total, 11 shipments have been made by suitable craft and more are expected in the near future,” he said.  

Letymbiotis said that on Thursday the ship La Roire is expected to depart carrying 150 pallets of humanitarian aid, while a US ship is expected to depart early next week carrying over 3,000 tonnes of aid. 

He added that the assistance so far is mainly in the food category, but at the same time, hygiene items, temporary shelters and health care are part of the quantities being sent by sea. 

The financial value of the aid sent exceeds $1 million.