Disasters & Accidents

At least 4 dead in landslides after M7.6 earthquake in Papua New Guinea

Sydney, Australia, Sep 12 (EFE).- At least four people have died in remote mountainous areas of Papua New Guinea as a result of landslides triggered by the magnitude-7.6 earthquake that struck on Sunday morning, reported the United Nations team in the country.

“So far, at least four deaths have been reported – one in Rai Coast (district), Madang (province), and three in Wau (town), Morobe (province). All were buried in landslides,” the UN Country Team in Papua New Guinea said Sunday in its report.

“Mission Aviation Fellowship also medevacked four injured persons from Nankina in Rai Coast to Goroka for medical treatment. Other people in Morobe had been injured from falling structures or debris, and there was damage to some health centers, homes, rural roads and highways, according to the Morobe provincial disaster center,” it added.

The UN humanitarian agency also reported that the earthquake caused “moderate to heavy damages to dwellings made from light materials and minor structural damages to multi-story buildings in communities around the epicenter and as far away as (…) 120 km (75 miles) from the epicenter.”

The regional power grid, internet cables, and the regional highway have also been damaged, but airports were operational.

Papua New Guinea was shaken on Sunday by a 90 km-deep M7.6 earthquake 67 km east of the mountainous town of Kainantu, a fairly unpopulated area about 400 km northeast of the capital Port Moresby.

The United States Geological Survey issued a warning of possible tsunami risk 1,000 kilometers from the epicenter, which was later lifted.

The country sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken each year by some 7,000 tremors, most of them moderate.

In February 2018, a M7.5 earthquake left more than 145 dead and hundreds injured in a remote mountainous area of Papua New Guinea. EFE


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