Major earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

A major earthquake hits Papua New Guinea’s remote highland causing tears in landmass, Prime minister Peter O’Neill declares a state of emergency.

The earthquake was 7.5-magnitude, struck 90km south of Porgera in Enga province.

O”Neill said that “This is an unprecedented disaster in the Highlands region and the appropriate response is underway by the national government,”

A man stands near cracks in the ground at Nipa in Papua New Guinea’s highlands region after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake which Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said was an “unprecedented disaster” for local communities AFP/Melvin LEVONGO

“A state of emergency has been declared to expedite the restoration of essential public services including healthcare services, schools, road access, airports, power and communications facilities.” he added.

He states that 450 million kina (US$140 million) had been allocated by the government for disaster relief in the area.

Another US$221,000 was contributed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Thursday, 2 Mar 2018.

A state of emergency has been declared in Papua New Guinea’s remote highlands after a major earthquake shook the region in what Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said was an “unprecedented disaster” for local communities AFP/Melvin LEVONGO

Many reports of casualties came in as they conflict with each other, one stating 7 people dead while the other says 14.

Poor access to the region made communications there difficult, many were unable to request for supply at first.

The local news reported that aerial survey spotted broken bridges, collapsed roads and buildings while also revealing large cracks in the ground.

Johnson Tiki, District Administrator of Koroba-Lake Kopiago, said that “80 to 90 percent of all buildings are down”.

“All district administration buildings are down, hospital down, Catholic Church down, public servants’ houses down,” he added.

Numerous aftershocks were felt, the latest one was at 5.9-magnitude that happened around 1:00pm local time (11am, SGT) on Friday, 3 Mar 2018.

The locals reported that the frequency of the aftershocks were very close together, experiencing them “every 30 minutes, five minutes, two minutes”.

 

 

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