PNGDF Manam eruption update

In a press briefing today, PNGDF and National Disaster officials gave media an update of the logistics currently on ground in the disaster area.

The PNGDF Commander, Gilbert Toropo, verified that the PNGDF has been on ground since the initial deployment team was sent in on Sunday after the eruption.

As of today, twenty six troops with a medical and communications team have been deployed from Lae with a naval ship currently in Madang to assist with the ferrying of relief supplies by authorities.

PM brushes away Opposition’s claims

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch accused the Government of diverting K150 million to a separate account rather than the Disaster Trust Account set up on March 1, 2018.

He claimed that there has been no transparency on the restoration work carried out by the Controller of National Disaster state-of-emergency.

K400,000 for M’buke Island disaster

In a special meeting held last Friday in Lorengau, the DDA board, under the chairmanship of Open Member Job Pomat, passed a resolution that K400,000 from the District Services Improvement Program funds will be given to the islanders.

M’buke was hit by strong winds on May 5, wrecking 54 homes. 218 people remain at a care centre on the island.

M’buke islanders begin clean-up

Clean up of houses started on Tuesday, 10 days after the winds hit and will continue.

The exercise was out off to allow the Provincial Disaster Team to carry out it's assessment of damages.

Ward Councillor Tapas Selarn Kaluwin told this newsroom a dedication service to a new Mbuke was conducted on Tuesday evening.

He said the service was to put the disaster behind them and move forward with a focus on recovery.

Manus MP and Parliament Speaker Job Pomat visited the island in Tuesday to see first hand the extent of damages.

We need our lives back

When the 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit, a total of 152 families were affected – that’s a total population of 2054.

All those displaced have been housed at the Baguale Primary school since.

Paul Ipakase, a local, says relief, especially food supplies were last donated on March 11.

Ipakase is in charge of supply distribution among each household. And he says this food supply is expected to run out by Friday, March 30.

He is calling on the LLG and provincial authorities to continue relief efforts into the area.

Controller calls for probe into cause of earthquake

Bomario said the Disaster Emergency Control is in the view that a proper investigation into the cause of such disasters, results will be favourable. 

Supporting the call by the Emergency control chairman Dr Bomario, North Fly MP, James Donald, also raised this issue and call for answers from independent investigation into the cause of the earthquake.

“My people need answers as this earthquake is not normal.

‘We need independent investigation into the cause of the earthquake as many people have lost lives and properties destroyed.”

WNB musicians to raise funds for quake victims

The initiative was driven by one of West New Britain’s talented musician and pastor, Jayson Raphael Meli.

Mr Meli told this newsroom in a phone interview that the least they can do to help the victims is through music.

 “I was in Goroka attending a crusade when we felt the earthquake and heard of the news about the disaster the next day.

“The idea of helping the victims came to my mind and I decided to make contacts with musicians in the province and decided to do a fundraising appeal for the victims.”

President Trump declares disaster in American Samoa

The approval will activate federal resources and assistance programmes for American Samoa, including relief packages and financial aid.

The governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, said the details of the declaration would be made public "soon."

As many as 500 people are still living in emergency shelters in American Samoa, three weeks after Gita swept across the islands causing extensive damage.

Frustration has been mounting among residents regarding the emergency response.


Second phase of Kadovar relief program ends

According to Chris Bais of the East Sepik Governor’s Office, within 11 days from the day of eruption, organisers were able to supply relief food supplies, 20 litres of water, cartons of drinking water and tarpaulins.

The complete evacuation of Kadavor villagers to the care centre at Dandan also took place within 11 days.

So far over 533 men, women and children are at the Dandan care centre.

NRI: Disaster offices need more funding

This was highlighted in a research report produced by the PNG National Research Institute, titled ‘Adverse Impacts Of Climate Change in Papua New Guinea: Are we ready to adapt and manage disasters?’

The research paper was written by PNG NRI’s associate Professor Eugene Ezebilo and Maureen Thomas.

The aim of the research was to examine the preparedness of PNG to adapt to climate change and manage natural disasters using drought and frost incidence of 2015 as a case.