Magnitude 6.0 aftershock hits Papua New Guinea

Strong aftershocks rattle quake-hit Papua New Guinea highlands

At least 67 people were killed by an quake that devastated Papua New Guinea's remote highlands last week, the Red Cross said on Monday.

"We haven't slept. It's been shaking all through the night", William Bando, provincial administrator of Hela Province, said by telephone from Tari, about 40 km (25 miles) from the site of the shocks.

"What we experienced this morning could have caused more damage, but we don't nearly threw me out of bed". Scores of people reportedly have been killed since a magnitude-7.5 quake rocked the nation on February 26th.

Aid workers say almost 150,000 people are in urgent need of emergency supplies with many of them displaced as their homes are either destroyed or badly damaged.

Landslides have cut roads, preventing the delivery of aid to several places where it's most needed.

"Just to put it into perspective, the provinces are already among the most remote in the country and on a good day, when you do have road access, it's a two-day drive at the shortest from the nearest coastal port", she said.

"Big trucks can not go there". One resident described vast devastation and said he was living on top of the rubble of his home with dwindling food supplies and contaminated water to drink. "There is no fear of starvation yet, but we don't have the full picture".

Apart from the death toll, around 1.43 lakh people have been affected by the natural disaster and 17,000 people have been displaced due to partial or full destruction of their homes, reported AFP quoting Red Cross figures.

Professor Petley said there was an urgent need to assess the risk of collapse and determine how many people lived downstream.

Australian and New Zealand defense forces have begun delivering aid and the China Red Cross and Beijing have pledged financial assistance.

Resources companies operating in the region have also pledged million of dollars in aid.

Oil Search has committed US$5 million in cash to support disaster relief efforts, while Santos will donate US$200 000.



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