Deaths reported in PNG's Tari following quake

More deaths have been reported in Papua New Guinea's Highlands region following Monday's 7.5 earthquake.

With transport and communications links to the affected Highlands provinces still badly disrupted, there is still no official death toll.

But police in Southern Highlands province said at least 11 people were confirmed dead in Mendi, and the provincial death and injury toll was expected to rise.

It was a similar story in the capital of neighbouring Hela province, Tari, where power was out and the cellphone tower was down.

A local man, Moses Komengi said there had been significant loss of life

"In my village we have almost three. I went to town yesterday and I hearing that about thirteen (dead) were counted. But further out in all of Hela region, we are not sure yet. But different things happening.

"People are hurt by houses and buildings (collapsed or damaged), you know a big mass of land (landslides)."

Mr Komengi said landslides and debris had covered most of the drains in the area, and that the main road was blocked at several points.

Tari's services had all ground to a halt, except for the hospital which was only accepting emergency cases. Meanwhile, with frequent aftershocks continuing, local people remained terrified.

"People are frightened, because there are rumours spreading now that a bigger one will come..." said Mr Komengi whose own house was badly damaged.

"I'm in the bush area. We relocated our children to the garden. I told my children that if anything happen go to the garden, it's safe.

"When the movement comes, people are shouting and they think the bigger one will come so people are scared and confused at this moment."


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