22 villagers airlifted by PNGDF

Papua New Guinea Defence Force helicopters over the weekend airlifted 22 villagers and government workers from villages at Kutubu in Southern Highlands Province.

Two PNGDF Bell 202 helicopters flew in from Tari Airport, Hela Province, to Huma Pawa village and landed at Huma Primary School.

In a statement, the PNGDF said: “Hundreds of people gathered at Huma Primary School as the helicopters landed. They all had fled their homes to seek refuge and shelter at Huma Primary School.”

Major Ezron Dekeaetavara said their relief supplies will be coming shortly. In the meantime, PNGDF is only helping in providing immediate medical evacuation emergencies.

The villages are in panic as people are saying there will be another bigger earthquake coming.

“That rumour has been stopped by members of PNGDF who were on the ground to help airlift the villagers,” stated the PNG military.

“Thousands of people are suffering after the tremendous earthquake which struck the region. The villagers are using the school as the temporary homes after their homes were damaged.”

The two helicopters made two evacuations out from the area, airlifting mostly teachers and sick villagers who needed immediate medical treatment.

“The communities there are still in shock. They need food, water, shelter, clothes and more awareness to stop the rumours.”

(PNGDF members conducting awareness, urging the villagers not to panic. Relief supplies will be coming in soon – PNGDF Media)

Press release