PNG quakes 'claim scores of lives'

PNG quakes 'claim scores of lives'

PNG quakes 'claim scores of lives'

ExxonMobil Corp. said on Monday it would take about eight weeks to restore production at the Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas project (LNG), following a powerful quake that hit the country's energy-rich interior a week ago. Three particularly strong aftershocks bigger than magnitude 5 hit the Southern Highlands early Monday morning, the Guardian reports. Scores of people reportedly have been killed since a magnitude-7.5 quake rocked the nation on February 26th.

Aid agencies have said almost 150,000 people remain in urgent need of emergency supplies. It's one of the reasons there is a shortage of food.

"We just got a call from one of the remotest locations, Mt Bosavi", he said.

Apart from the death toll, around 1.43 lakh people have been affected by the natural disaster and 17,000 people have been displaced due to partial or full destruction of their homes, reported AFP quoting Red Cross figures.

"Public health and public hygiene are now concerns", Anna Bryan, program director for CARE International in PNG, said.

Professor Petley said satellite images of the Tagari River, a large waterway draining the central part of the area affected by the quake, showed at least four landslides that have blocked the valley.

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The Australian and New Zealand defence forces have began delivering aid, while the China Red Cross and Beijing have pledged financial assistance, according to the PNG Post-Courier.

"The rugged terrain and loss of communications in the area impacted means it is taking time to build a complete picture of the damage", New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said in a statement Monday, according to CNN.

Aid workers warned of the need for help in the hard-to-reach region.

Oil company Santos said on Sunday that it will donate US$200,000 to aid agencies in PNG for disaster relief on top of a US$1 million donation it has already provided to Hela Provincial Hospital.

Oil Search's helicopters and personnel are also helping to distribute emergency aid to local villages.

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