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3 dead after 6.9-magnitude quake jolts PNG: media

GreenWatch Desk Earthquake 2024-03-25, 1:58pm

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Local media reported on Monday that three people died and more than 70 houses were destroyed after a 6.9-magnitude quake jolted Papua New Guinea (PNG) over the weekend Data from the U.S. Geological Survey indicated that a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the northern part of the Pacific island country at about 6:22 a.m. local time on Sunday.

With a depth of 40.2 km, the epicenter was determined to be at 4.139 degrees south latitude and 143.159 degrees east longitude, located approximately 38 kilometers east-northeast of Ambunti.
Several regions in PNG's East Sepik province, including Ambunti and Wewak, bore the brunt caused by the earthquake, reports BSS.
PNG's daily newspaper Post Courier revealed that the disaster has claimed three lives to date, including a mother and her child in the Jikinumbu village and a boy in the Sotmeri village.
A total of 73 homes were found having crumbled in Korogu, Sotmeri, and Jikinumbu villages, said the Post Courier.
Stanley Samban, a PNG parliament member representing Wewak, also told the newspaper that a bridge linking Moem Barracks to Wewak collapsed, which cut off the access of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force to the town.
"It is confirmed two oxygen cylinders from the surgical ward of Boram General Hospital exploded during the earthquake," Samban added.
PNG Prime Minister James Marape has announced a funding of 500 million Kina (about 132 million U.S. dollars) to provide immediate relief.
"The Office of the Chief Secretary understands the enormity of the situation and is coordinating the whole-of-government approach through a national disaster steering committee to assess and coordinate with the help of National Disaster Office and provincial disaster offices for special interventions," Marape was quoted as saying on Sunday.
The prime minister noted that the country has been recently hit hard by earthquakes, flooding caused by heavy rain and ensuing landslips, king tides, strong winds, and others.
"This includes this morning's earthquake in East Sepik and parts of Madang provinces where assessments are currently being carried out in partnership with provincial and local authorities," he said.