Earthquake split land, island slowly sinking: Local

More than a thousand people at Inu village in Kutubu, Southern Highlands Province, are calling for urgent help after a massive earthquake split the ground, leaving them stranded on an island that is slowly sinking.

Inu is a lakeside village along the Lake Kutubu.

Baiyo Baboro, a local there, said the earthquake rattled their area at around 3am on Monday morning, splitting the ground.  The lake water and river Mubi rose up, covering parts of the village.

Also submerged now is the Inu Primary School, Inu Sub-health Centre and the secondary school.

Villagers, students, teachers and other public servants in the area are cut off, stranded on this island.

Baboro said the tremors are still being felt and water is rising.

She is calling for immediate help, at least before 2pm this afternoon.

She said more lakeside villages are now underwater.

Baboro told Loop PNG that over 10 people have died during this earthquake; 11 in Yalanda and 4 at Daga village.

She said the road access has also been closed due to cracks in the ground.

Those stranded have been without food, both old and young.

Meantime, the villagers are avoiding the lake for fear of their safety while reception (mobile phone signal) has just returned (only 1 or 2 bars).

(The stranded villagersPic supplied by Isaac Haboro Baiabo)

Gloria Bauai