confirm 7 dead; communications are still down

It is difficult to obtain information on the damage to buildings and the people affected after the earthquake of September 11. The first evaluation and verification missions began yesterday. In the Archdiocese of Madang, part of the roof of the cathedral and the university was damaged, where about ten students were injured.

Port Moresby () – The death toll rises to 7 dead and 24 injured after the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that shook Papua New Guinea on September 11. According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred at a depth of 61 km and about 67 km from the city of Kainantu, in the east of the country.

At least two people died in remote villages; four people in critical condition were airlifted to hospital. In a Wau mine, three miners were buried alive. Other landslides were recorded in the towns of Bulolo and Boana. In the city of Madang, at least 389 houses collapsed, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, but obtaining information about the extent of the damage is made difficult by the interruption of communications. Yesterday, when assessment missions to the affected areas began, no reports had yet been received from the districts closest to the epicenter.

“Roads, houses and infrastructure were damaged. There are still many areas to control, since the earthquake hit a fairly remote and mountainous area, characterized by deep valleys and gorges,” sources explain. . The areas where the PIME works in Papua New Guinea were not affected, but in the Archdiocese of Madang the tremor “was very felt”. The roof of the cathedral was partially damaged. A number of businesses were also damaged. “For two days, the supply of water and electricity has been suspended throughout the city,” added local sources.

Papua New Guineans took to social media to share photos and videos of cracked streets and objects falling off supermarket shelves. Footage shows the damage to Goroka University, where a dozen students were injured by falling debris.

Papua New Guinea is vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis as it sits on the so-called “ring of fire” in the Pacific Ocean, a major friction point between two tectonic plates. In 2018, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake left 100 dead and damaged thousands of homes.

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Written by Editor TLN

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