PNG authorities fear more casualties after large quake aftershock

4:30 pm on 5 March 2018

Authorities in Papua New Guinea are trying to ascertain whether there have been further casualties after a large aftershock early this morning.


Landslips in the heart of oil and gas resources projects between Moro and Hides in the PNG Southern Highlands. Photo: Bernard McQueen

The Highlands region had been badly damaged by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake a week ago, but the region continues to be rattled by aftershocks, including a magnitude 6 this morning.

The Red Cross said there are estimated to be at least 80 casualties across the three worst-hit provinces, but that number is expected to climb as teams reached cut off areas.

The governor of the worst-affected province of Hela, Philip Undialu, said authorities are now in remote parts carrying out assessments after last week's quake.

But he said initial reports suggested today's large aftershock may have added to the devastation at Mt Bosavi, close to the epicentre.

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

"The president of that LLG (Local Level Government) area called us that an additional 10 people died last night. So we will visit ourselves and confirm."

Philip Undialu said he has plans to travel to Mt Bosavi by helicopter this afternoon.