Aid Needed for PNG Quake Survivors

Aid Needed for PNG Quake Survivors

The national disaster center in Port Moresby could not immediately be reached by telephone.

He said the disaster team in the province needs at least 2 choppers to carry out assessments and reports on how much damage has been caused in all parts of the province.

Last week's quake was one of the largest to hit the region in almost a century, triggering landslides, destroying buildings and disrupting communication lines.

The government on Thursday announced Dr William Hamlin as the emergency controller, together with K100 million for immediate release for emergency operations and a further K200 million for long-term restoration purposes.

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While the region has no major urban centres, around 670,000 people live within 100 km (62 miles) of the epicentre, according to the Red Cross. Most of the other casualties were in the provincial capital of Mendi and the township of Tari, officials told Reuters.

Strong relief assistance pledges have come in, including US$5 million from Oil Search Limited, global oil and gas giant ExxonMobil US$1 million, China Foreign Affairs and China Red Cross, on top of the government's own K300 million for the quake disaster affected areas in PNG.

Oil Search managing director Peter Botten, who travelled to the Highlands to survey the damage, said the impact "has been enormous, with many deaths in the region as well as the destruction of houses, schools, roads and bridges".

A Royal New Zealand Air Force C130 Hercules aircraft carrying emergency relief supplies will depart for Port Moresby on Monday morning, carrying family hygiene kits, shelter kits, jerry cans, and tarpaulins, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.

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