Disappointing data by disaster teams: Official

The lack of specific information (data) in reports presented to the emergency restoration team may cause delay in delivering the much-needed aid to the impacted Highlands region provinces.

One week has passed since the devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Highlands region.

National emergency controller, Dr Bill Hamblin, revealed that during a meeting they found that the data provided by teams dispatched, especially from the National Disaster office, into the affected areas lacked the specific information needed to take appropriate action.

Dr Hamblin said it was very disappointing as the reports were generalised by the team.

“There were no numbers or data; what the team needs now is the exact numbers and data, especially from the humanitarian perspective.

“They need the number of people affected, the exact death toll from some of the specific areas and of course the survivors in each of the areas.

“This will then enable the emergency restoration team to dispatch appropriate aid supplies or necessary aid according to the data given.”

Dr Hambil stated that now they need all information from all bodies, including the non-government organisations, provincial governments and the district development authorities, who are now working closely with the team to provide data and information.

Meanwhile, road accessibility has also proved to be a great barrier not only for the delivery of aid supplies but also for the people in the impacted areas and neighbouring provinces and districts.

Secretary for Works, David Wereh, stated that the roads are critically blocked off due to landslips.

He mentioned that there will be experts dispatched to the affected areas to assess the damages.

Dr Hambil has a background in infrastructure and development issues. His many stints include, but are not limited to:

  • PNG immigration projects in the early ‘90s when the first immigration computerised system was implemented
  • Team leader for PNG Incentive Fund – infrastructure projects
  • National Planning
  • PNG Department of Monitoring and Planning
  • Australian universities

(National emergency controller, Dr Bill Hamblin)

Imelda Wavik