7 Feb 2008

State of Emergency extended in PNG's Oro province

11:33 am on 7 February 2008

Papua New Guinea authorities have this week extended a state of emergency in Oro province for a further two months.

Oro suffered severe flooding during a cyclone in November last year.

Thousands were made homeless and nearly 300 people are believed to have died.

The co-ordinator of the state of emergency, Colonel Vagi Oala, says there are still a significant number of people in temporary shelters but life, particularly around the main town Popondetta, is mostly back to normal.

But he says people in rural areas still need help with food and materials to restore their gardens.

Colonel Oala says a key factor in extending the state of emergency is to allow for a re-structure of the provincial administration so it can cope with the aftermath of the disaster.

"It was deliberately extended by two months for us to do a transition properly and see if we could restructure the administration and streamline it properly so that good governance is introduced."