PNG earthquake 2018

Health facilities devastated by PNG quake

On 26 February, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea, triggering landslides, affecting water sources and wiping out houses, health facilities, people and crops. More than 190 aftershocks have been recorded, according to the United States Geological Survey, including one as recently as 20 March.

PNG quake: PNG, Aust work to restore power

Working closely with PNG Power Limited, Australia has provided up to A$400,000 (just over PGK1,000,000) for the purchase and delivery of ten 80kva transformers that are needed to restore power across parts of Hela Province and Southern Highlands Province, which have a combined population exceeding 750,000.

The transformers will see reliable power restored to some 3,500 PNG Power customers, including businesses, health clinics, schools and family homes.

At least 143,000 affected in PNG quake: 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, PNG health dept deploy emergency 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.

‘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 in Papua New Guinea (PNG). 

“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.

UN mobilises support for PNG earthquake

The team will assist the PNG National Disaster Centre in assessments, response coordination, logistics and information management in the worst affected areas, especially in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.

The UN has initially mobilised USD1.4 million (K4.6 million) to support relief efforts, having already dispatched immediate relief supplies to the earthquake affected areas such as tarpaulins, water containers, emergency medical items including medical kits, vaccines and malnutrition treatment supplies.

1 week later: Help yet to reach remote PNG villages

Hunger and dehydration continue to rise while deaths remain unaccounted for.

Local police officer Jacob Kumin has confirmed that brief tremors were felt this morning after ceasing for almost 3 days.

He further revealed there has not been any government presence in the impacted villages.

He said Oil Search is on ground and started doing village to village assessment and at the same time, handing out bottled water and some food items.

PNG death toll reached 55: CBC

This is according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference based on reports received from the Mendi Diocese in SHP.

General Secretary for Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Father Victor Roche, said coordination amongst authorities, churches and parties on ground is key during this trying time. 

Initial reports provided by the Mendi Diocese following the earthquake confirm 20 deaths in Hela Province and 35 in parts of Mendi.

A touching account of MAF’s PNG earthquake response

On Wednesday, 28 February, MAF performed a joint-effort medevac for a woman outside Huya Airstrip in a village called Fau.

MAF received the report and Sharlene Coker, who is not only MAF PNG’s operations assistant but is also trained as MAF international global disaster response administrator and operations specialist, worked with Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) to get coordinates for this village in the hope that one of their translators was familiar with this particular village.

Gr 10 student badly burnt during PNG’s 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.