An natural disaster of 6 on the Richter scale shook central parts of Papua New Guinea just weeks after another powerful quake whose victims are now more than 30 people, reported RIA Novosti. Thousands more were left homeless and without food and clean water.
At least three aftershocks greater than magnitude 5 struck the Southern Highlands region in the morning, including the magnitude 6.0 quake, about 600 km northwest of capital Port Moresby.
Compounding the fallout was an announcement Monday that the impoverished country's biggest-ever development-the PNG LNG project operated by USA energy giant ExxonMobil-would be offline for up to eight weeks as the quake-hit facilities are repaired.
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Regmi added that water and sanitation were major concerns for local communities, with relief workers unable to get bigger food trucks through to some areas because of damage to roads by landslides.
In response to the disaster, both Australia and New Zealand along with the Red Cross pledged aid to some 150,000 people in the affected areas.
Peter Botten, the Managing Director of Oil Search surveyed the damage and said that the impact "has been enormous, with many deaths in the region as well as the destruction of houses, schools, roads and bridges".
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"The challenge is road access - they are still not accessible to trucks and four-wheel drives", Udaya Regmi said.
A team of six emergency experts from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) deployed to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to assist the government in response to the quake disaster efforts in the Highlands.
"From the United Nations in Papua New Guinea, we would like to extend our sympathies to those affected and to those who have lost their loved ones", said UN Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla.
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