Powerful quake cuts communications in Papua New Guinea

WELLINGTON/MELBOURNE: At least one corporate started evacuating non-essential team of workers after a formidable 7.five magnitude earthquake hit Papua New Guinea's energy-rich interior on Monday, causing landslides, damaging buildings and closing oil and fuel operations.

The tremor hit in the rugged, heavily forested Southern Highlands about 560 km (350 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, at around 3.45 a.m. local time (1545 GMT Sunday), according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

A spokesman at Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Centre said by way of phone the affected space used to be very far flung and the agency could not correctly assess injury until communication used to be re-established.

He said there have been no showed casualties, despite the fact that the International Red Cross (IRC) in Papua New Guinea said some reviews indicated there have been "fears of human casualties".

"It's very serious all across the Southern Highlands and also all over the western highlands. People are definitely very frightened," Udaya Regmi, the head of the IRC in Papua New Guinea, said by way of phone from Port Moresby.

The PNG govt also said it had despatched disaster evaluation groups. At least 13 aftershocks with a magnitude of five.0 or extra rattled the world during the day, according to USGS information, however no tsunami warnings have been issued.

Early on Tuesday, USGS reported that another quake with a magnitude of 6.four had hit 142 km (88 miles) from the town of Mount Hagen at a depth of about 10 km.

"The Papua New Guinea Defence Force has also been mobilised to assist with the assessment and the delivery of assistance to affected people as well as the restoration of services and infrastructure," Isaac Lupari, the manager secretary to the government, said in a statement after Monday's tremor.

ExxonMobil said it had close its Hides fuel conditioning plant and that it believed administration buildings, living quarters and a mess corridor were broken. It also said it had suspended flights into the close by Komo airfield until the runway may well be surveyed.

"Due to the damage to the Hides camp quarters and continuing aftershocks, ExxonMobil PNG is putting plans in place to evacuate non-essential staff," the corporate said in an emailed statement.

Gas is processed at Hides and transported alongside a 700 km (435 miles) line that feeds a liquefied herbal fuel plant close to Port Moresby for delivery.

Papua panic

PNG oil and fuel explorer Oil Search said in a statement it had also close production in the quake-affected space.

The giant Grasberg copper mine operated by way of the Indonesian unit of Freeport McMoRan in neighbouring Papua province used to be not affected, a Jakarta-based spokesman said.

However, the quake and several other aftershocks brought about panic in Jayapura, the capital of Indonesian Papua, Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said in a statement, however there have been no reviews of casualties or injury there.

The IRC's Regmi said communications have been "completely down" in Tari, one of the crucial larger settlements close to the quake's epicentre, and that landslides had minimize roads.

Several different help and missionary companies said poor communications in the space made injury and harm evaluation tricky.


"The bush structures that they build tend to handle earthquakes extremely well," Christian missionary Brandon Buser instructed Reuters after contacting several far flung villages by way of shortwave radio.


Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic process due to friction between tectonic plates.


"This is the Papuan fold-and-thrust belt, so it's a typical movement of faults in that region, but it's big," said Chris McKee, performing director of the Geohazards Management Division in Port Moresby.


Part of PNG's northern coast used to be devastated in 1998 by way of a tsunami, generated by way of a 7.0 quake, which killed about 2,200 other folks.
Powerful quake cuts communications in Papua New Guinea Powerful quake cuts communications in Papua New Guinea Reviewed by kailash soni on February 26, 2018 Rating: 5
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