7.5 magnitude earthquake

K150m for disaster areas to be released

This was announced by the Emergency Controller Dr Bill Hamblin in a press conference yesterday afternoon, which was also attended by members of the committee including secretaries for works and finance, national disaster director and representatives from ExxonMobil and Oil Search.

The Emergency Controller said the monies will go towards the aid however, there will be specific requirements for funds to be utilised – including way of purchase orders.

He said in this way there is transparency and order in utilising of the funds for relief and humanitarian purposes.

Hela disaster team visits quake-stricken areas

A medical team has been dispatched and medevac exercises have commenced today as well.

The Hela Provincial Disaster Committee is headed by Provincial Administrator William Bando and comprises the Tari Hospital CEO, Oil Search Foundation, Hela Province provincial police commander and stakeholders.

The committee made a series of trips to Koroba-Kopiago, Tari-Pori, Komo and parts of Western and Sandaun Provinces and have reported extensive damage.

Gr 10 student badly burnt during quake

Rachael Max, who is from Mendi, Southern Highlands Province, is being treated with traditional medicine and prayers from the faithfuls with hopes that God will spare her life.

She lives with her sister in Tubage Village in the Lake Kutubu area.

Her sister is married to a man from Tubage. 

Senior Constable Bob Kone, a policeman at Moro police station, who is also from Tubage, said the young girl went fishing early that morning and after returning with her catch, decided to cook.

While she was cooking, the earth shook.

PNG earthquake: Women groups mobilise support

Water, shelter and food are urgently needed in these impacted villages.

The Advancing PNG Women’s Network, CDI Foundation and Hela Meri Never Give-Up are running a 2-week earthquake relief appeal in Port Moresby.

“We are appealing specifically to the public.

Yumi harim long reidio, lukim long TV na yumi filim sori na yumi laik givim na halivim na givim sampla samting, there’s place, a platform where we can donate,” stated Cathy Alex from Advancing PNG Women’s Network.

Aust backs disaster operations in PNG

The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary has reported the earthquake has resulted in the deaths of at least 20 people and hundreds more have been injured. These figures may change as the situation in remote areas becomes better known.

Australia is providing $200,000 (K501,000) worth of humanitarian support, including tarpaulins, water purification tablets, and water containers.

State of Emergency declared

The National Executive Council has further approved K450 million for relief operations and to restore services, as well as the formation of an emergency disaster restoration team and the establishment of a restoration authority.

"This is an unprecedented disaster in the Highlands Region and the appropriate response is underway by the National Government,” the Prime Minister said.

China offers to help in disaster relief efforts

The Deputy Chief of Mission shared on behalf of the Republic of China their sympathies towards the victims of the earthquake that struck on Monday.

He made the statement today in Port Moresby, saying: “I would like to express my Ambassador and my embassy’s sincere condolences to the earthquake hit victims over the past days.

“We were saddened to hear about this unfortunate event.

“But we also firmly believe that PNG people are resilient and can prevail over the hardships.

Day 4: No relief yet

For some, like those at Baguale in the Kutubu LLG, Southern Highlands Province, the little they have is running out.

Villager Paul Ipakase told Loop PNG that today marks day four since the devastation.

He expressed sadness that neither of the companies in the area have tried to help the locals.

Ipakase said all villagers have been scattered since the disaster, and most have now gathered at the Baguale Primary School.

Three died due to starvation: Local

From these, the newsroom has gathered that fresh water and food supply is currently an immediate need.

So far, two children and an old woman from Mapuli village in the Komo-Margarima LLG of Hela Province, passed away yesterday, believed to be from starvation.

This is according to local woman Akili Kapiako.

Kapiako’s father had a nail embedded in his head during the earthquake, however he is stable now at the Tari hospital.

Other than that, she says locals have been without food and fresh water for three days now.

‘People are really scared’

From communication with locals in the area, this newsroom has gathered that:

Siane Falls village in the Bosavi area, Southern Highlands, reported four collapsed buildings, while most of their houses are on the verge of falling down. 

Landslides were experienced there but thankfully, no deaths. 

All Soro Moro people gathered at the supermarket as of 10pm last night. There has been heavy rain, thunder and lightning, but no wind. 

“People are really scared,” Loop PNG was told.