PNG earthquake 2018

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.”

‘The earth started to shift and shake violently’

This was the traumatising experience of Marlian, a mother-of-three, following the recent 7.5 earthquake. 

“I ran outside pulling my children by the hands and then I saw my house just ‘fly away’.

“We lost everything. Our house is gone, our gardens are gone and the water has turned red so we cannot drink it or wash in it.

“We are sleeping in the bush without any cover.

70 soldiers deployed to disaster provinces

The troops are from the First Royal Pacific Island Regiment at Taurama.

Yesterday they were flown out by the Australian Hercules C130 from the PNGDF Air Transport Wing at Jackson’s International Airport

On their way to the two disaster provinces, the first 35 troops were inserted into Hela from Komo airport while the next 35 troops bound for Southern Highlands have been inserted from Hagen.

They will be traveling by road to Southern Highlands from Mt Hagen.

Among the troops that were deployed are 10 specialist combat military trained medical personnel.

Earthquake relief: Overwhelming response from residents

The city residents’ positive response comes immediately after NCD Governor Powes Parkop launched the NCD Earthquake Relief Centre at City Hall car park on Monday, March 5, 2018.

During the launch, Governor Parkop appealed to city residents to help donate in cash and kind to support fellow countrymen, women and children affected by the recent earthquake.

The Governor also announced that the earthquake victims in Southern Highlands, Hela, Enga and Western provinces will have their relief supplies delivered to them immediately.

North Fly relief supplies airlifted today

The relief supplies were coordinated by North Fly MP, James Donald.

Bags of 10kg rice, cartons of biscuits, water bottles and noodles valued at K25,000 will be delivered to the district today.

The items are being airlifted from Kiunga to the remote Mogulu station, where a team will coordinate the delivery to those affected areas.

On Monday Ok Tedi Mining Ltd responded positively to the MP’s request for a helicopter hire into the affected areas.

22 artists to raise funds for quake victims

Apart from musicians from Hela and Southern Highlands, B-Rad was one to show interest.

Since the appeal by Elizabeth Tandoa and Augustine Emil, more artists, including Rex Band, dAdiigii and Siassi Heritage, have approached to participate.

The group of artists will host a concert this Saturday, March 10, from which all proceeds will go to the immediate assistance of the affected communities.

The gate fee is K5 for a child and K10 for an adult.

A venue is yet to be locked in, but Tandoa said they are working with NCD Governor Powes Parkop to secure this.

Western forms disaster committee

Member for North Fly James Donald is the chairman of the committee.

Following Monday’s concern regarding assistance not going into the province, particularly the North Fly district, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd responded positively with the request for a helicopter hire to carry out assessment in the areas affected.

Assessment started yesterday.

Donald thanked the management of OTML, especially Deputy Managing Director Musje Werror, for the timely support and assistance.

MP calls for independent quake report

Makiba’s constituency in Hela is one of the worst hit areas following the devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

The MP said there is a lot of speculation and confusion and the people want answers.

In a media conference, Makiba said a factual report on the cause of the earthquake was needed to dispel the rumours and speculation that are rife.

He said this must be done immediately to put to rest speculation that the major resource projects in the area are responsible for the earthquakes, which was propagated by segments of the community.