7.5 magnitude earthquake

Over K300,000 relief from US govt

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is providing $100,000 (K320,000) for this.

United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Catherine Ebert-Gray, expressed great sadness for victims and families of those who perished during the 7.5 magnitude earthquake, and requested assistance from the U.S. government, resulting in the $100,000 aid package.

PNC to host quake relief fundraising

Prime Minister and PNC Leader, Peter O’Neill, said PNC is a party for the people and all Members are rallying together to provide support for victims of the disaster.

“We have already seen generous support from the private sector, both in donations and contributions in-kind through the provision of goods and services,” the Prime Minister said.

“The PNC Red Ball for earthquake relief will be an opportunity for the People’s National Congress Party to bring together our supporters to raise funds for people during their time of need.

Overwhelming relief response by community: Group

The official drive, which started on Friday the 09th of March, has received remarkable response.

The team leader, Rex Paura, said it was amazing; the outcome of donation in kind has been just heart-warming.

The drive, now in its third day, has since gathered at least more than 20 bales in clothing and other necessities including rice, canned goods and water bottles.

They are expecting more people to donate in kind however, starting next week, the group will focus mainly on food and water donations as well as necessary items needed by the people affected.

At least 143,000 affected: Red Cross

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.

WHO, NDoH deploy emergency health teams

A devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces on 26 February, triggering landslides that are reported to have wiped out villages, contaminated drinking water and disrupted rivers.

“We offer our deep-felt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones as a result of the earthquake. We are working closely with the National Department of Health to provide assistance where most needed,” said WHO Country Representative, Dr Luo Dapeng.

1,000 50kg rice bags for disaster relief

Philippines Secretary of Agriculture, Emmanuel Manny Pinol, made the announcement of the donations yesterday when visiting Secretary of Agriculture, Dr Vele Pat Ila’ava.

Accompanied by a large delegation from the Philippines embassy in Port Moresby, Pinol said PNG is home to many Filipinos, therefore it is only fitting to give back.

He said 100 bags of 50kg rice will be bought in PNG while the remaining 900 bags and a 40ft container will be brought in from the Philippines sometimes this week.

Supplies delivered to Western, SHP

This newsroom received unconfirmed reports that an estimated 13 people were killed at Huiya village while some have been unaccounted for.

Project Officer of the North Fly District, Larry Franklin, who is involved in the disaster relief operation, told this newsroom neighbouring villagers fled into Huiya and Dodomona since disaster struck.

He said there are about 1,200 people currently at Dodomona village.

Food and water was running out until today when the MAF delivered much-needed relief supplies to Huiya.

Health dept inserts medical teams in disaster areas

Dr Sam Yockopua, the medical controller of Hela and SHP Health Disaster Response, said the teams were inserted yesterday (March 7).

Each team comprises a senior medical officer in emergency medicine, 1 Australian specialist paramedic, 1 PNG paramedic, 1 specialist emergency nurse, 2 public health officers and 1 World Health Organization/UNICEF representative.

“They are working with management and team on the ground, assisting and gathering accurate information as much as possible,” stated Dr Yockopua in his NDoH insertion update.

Highlands disaster immense: O’Neill

The Prime Minister led a delegation of senior disaster coordination officials, security personnel and donor agencies to affected areas in the Southern Highlands and Hela provinces yesterday to oversee a deeper assessment of logistical requirements.

“There will be no quick fix, the damage from this disaster will take months and years to be repaired,” the Prime Minister said from Tari in Hela Province.

“The delivery of clean water, food and shelter remains our priority, as well as the restoration of other essential services including electricity and communications.”

Israel contributes 40 generators to relief efforts

This followed diplomatic correspondence between Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu.

“These generators will provide immediate assistance to communities suffering from damage to critical infrastructure.

“The earthquake has left many locations with no electricity, and restoration of power is essential for these communities.

“The generators will assist in restoring many vital capabilities, such as the provision of water, medicine, communication and other essential services.”