Australia extends sympathies to quake-affected region

The Australian Government has extended its condolences to people in Papua New Guinea's Highlands region who have been affected by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

The quake struck in the early hours of 26 February and aftershocks continue to be recorded.

In a statement, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, said: “We are saddened to hear reports of lives lost and many people being injured. 

“Given the challenging terrain and remoteness of the area, we expect that the extent of the damage will become clearer in coming days.

“At the request of the Papua New Guinean Government, Australia is today providing a RAAF C-130 to conduct aerial surveillance and provide logistical support to the PNG Defence Force.

“An Australian-funded specialist working in the PNG National Disaster Centre is assisting with information management and coordination. 

“A team from Geoscience Australia has also been supporting the PNG Government with monitoring and reporting on seismic activity.”

Bishop said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has not received any requests for consular assistance from Australian citizens, but Australia stands ready to assist further if requested by the PNG Government.

(Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop)

Press release