PM observes firsthand aftermath of quake disaster

Rural communities in parts of Southern Highlands, Hela, Western and Enga have suffered massive damages.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill flew into Hela and Southern Highlands this morning to see for himself the aftermath of the situation.

He described the situation as ‘sad day for PNG’ as the biggest source of revenue, PNG LNG project, has been affected.

“We have tried our best to attend to immediate challenges by deploying members of the PNGDF and Disaster officers to the affected areas.”

The two provincial governors and administrators are now on the ground to assess the situation.

O’Neill said more than 20 people have died but he is yet to get confirmed numbers of casualties as the bad weather has hampered the search.

However, he said Disaster and PNGDF officers will be providing updated information as they continue to assess the situation.

The massive magnitude 7.5 earthquake occurred at 3:44am on Monday.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Tari-Pori MP and Finance Minister James Marape, Mendi MP and Works Minister Michael Nali, Koroba-Kopiago MP and Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas, Komo-Margarima MP Mannaseh Makiba, Nipa-Kutubu MP and Deputy Speaker Jeffery Komal, Hela Governor Philip Undialu and Works Secretary David Wereh, along with MRDC Managing Director Augustine Maino and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd Managing Director Wapu Sonk.  

The National Executive Council will meet tomorrow at 2pm to further discuss the situation.

Freddy Mou