PNG earthquake 2018

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.

NCD ready to help quake victims

Extending the city’s sympathy yesterday, Governor Powes Parkop pledged support to assist.

“This is a natural catastrophe, it’s not planned so nobody was ready for this,” he said.

He assured the affected locals that as soon as the National Disaster Centre sets up relief efforts, Port Moresby is ready to assist.

Parkop said volunteers have already approached him for this and the city is ready to help in any form of relief, both cash and kind.

“We are always ready to help in this kind of tragic situation. We wish them all the best in their recovery,” he said.

Experts to assess damages in Hides

ExxonMobil managing director, Andrew Barry, said they have begun flying in experts to carry out the assessment.

Since Monday the company has shut down its Hides gas conditioning plant, the two LNG trains in Port Moresby, and evacuated non-essential staff at those facilities.

He said the facilities were shut down without any problems.

Ok Tedi expects road clearance today

During Monday’s earthquake, a landslip occurred in Western Province, blocking off access to the Ok Tedi Mine road.

The landslip also damaged water and concentrate pipeline and it will take days before the pipes are restored.

Ok Tedi managing director and CEO, Peter Graham, said they hope to have the road cleared by the end of today to allow access for light vehicles into and out of the mine.

Pope Francis expresses solidarity

His Holiness sent his condolence after hearing of the recent earthquake in Southern Highlands Province.

“He prays especially for the eternal repose of the deceased and for the healing of those injured,” relays the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Pope Francis “offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this tragedy”.

RPNGC will assist in relief efforts: Andrews

Deputy Police Commissioner and Chief of Operations, Jim Andrews, said this today while expressing his sympathy for families and victims of the earthquake, which is said to have claimed the lives of over 20 people and caused widespread destruction across these three provinces.

"Police in these three provinces are keeping a close eye on the relief efforts and will actively partake in all humanitarian aid activities in the affected places."

‘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.