At least 143,000 affected: Red Cross

According to the International Federation of Red Cross, as many as 143,000 people from Southern Highlands and Hela provinces have been affected by the earthquake, including some 500 injured and 17,000 others displaced.

The full extent of the devastation however, remains unclear and in light of this, the European Union is providing K438,610 to channel emergency assistance to the affected communities in Southern Highlands and Hela provinces.

An expert in water quality and waste management has also been deployed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, to provide expertise to the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team.

This EU-funding supports the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society in delivering lifesaving aid through the distribution of emergency shelter and essential relief items.

The assistance also supports aerial assessments and the deployment of volunteers to impacted localities.

Meanwhile, at least 70 aftershocks have rattled the country since the earthquake, including one of 6.4 magnitude on March 6th in Western Province, which killed a further 18 people.

(Loop file pic)

Carolyn Ure