While the initial earthquake saw lives lost and created extensive damage, the aftershocks have continued to cause damage, destruction and stress on the people of the Southern Highlands Province.
Digicel was also heavily impacted during these earthquakes, having 66 of its towers affected within the province on the day of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
Commenting on this, Digicel’s Chief Executive Officer, Valde Ferradaz said “We are deeply saddened at the loss of lives and properties of people as well as that of most needed infrastructures such as schools, hospitals and transport in the Southern Highlands. There are thousands of victims and tragic stories unfolding across PNG is heartbreaking.
Therefore, on behalf of Digicel staff and management, we are making a donation of USD200,000 (PGK636,000) to the 2018 Earthquake Disaster Restoration initiative championed by the Government of PNG to support those affected by the earthquake.”
These funds will directly support the people of the Southern Highlands with the purchase of food items, additional medical supplies, and the on-going rehabilitation of the region.
Valde added that this donation may not help every victim of this earthquake, but will go a long way to changing people’s lives that are in desperate need of this kind of support. Digicel is part of PNG, and we are here to help wherever we can.
“We have restored services in record time with 57 towers returned to full operational capacity. We responded immediately to this natural disaster with the deployment of additional and highly skilled team members to the region to make this possible.
These people have been working 24 hours a day, living in tents, and working to restore services that government teams and emergency services require to co-ordinate relief and aid efforts.”
“We are committed to providing free calls to all of our subscribers for a 24 hour period as the towers were restored. There were tens of thousands of calls made during this period to friends and family ensuring their safety and wellbeing.”
“Our commitment to the affected PNG communities is all about working to restore much needed mobile telecommunication services and providing our donation of USD200,000 (PGK636,000) to help people start re-building their lives.”
To ensure that there is continuous flow of mobile telecommunications services between Southern Highlands and the rest PNG and the world, the Digicel PNG Team restored 57 of the 66 sites that were affected by the earthquake. The Digicel Team is currently on site working 24 hours a day to ensure all affected towers are restored.