Big quake strikes Papua New Guinea

Big quake strikes Papua New Guinea

The latest, a 6.7 magnitude quake, was the strongest aftershock to hit the country.

The agency also expressed its sympathies to Papua New Guinea officials and residents after more fatalities were reported when a powerful aftershock hit its mountainous southern part.

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The government of Papua New Guinea estimates that more than 100 people died in the earthquakes that have struck the country's highlands over the last 2 weeks.

It was the strongest shake since the February 26 deadly magnitude 7.5 quake that destroyed homes, triggered landslides, and halted work at four oil and gas fields.

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"Tragically, the Highlands quake has already claimed the lives of an estimated more than 100 Papua New Guineans, with many more still missing and thousands of people injured", O'Neill said.

The central region where last week's quake struck is remote and undeveloped, and assessments about the scale of the damage and injuries have been slow to filter out. According to Powi, the death toll has reached 55 people. "Our people are traumatized and finding it hard to cope". He said many people remain missing and that thousands more have been injured. "People's livelihoods are devastated, their personal property is gone".

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He said he flew over major landslips on Wednesday that were not there after the initial quake.

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