Papua New Guinea quake toll rises to seven
Published: Sep 12, 2022 06:30 PM
The death toll from a massive earthquake in Papua New Guinea rose to seven on Monday and is expected to grow as rescuers begin to reach remote landslide-hit communities.

Police Commissioner David Manning said the victims of Sunday's 7.6-magnitude quake had been found across the central north of the country, where there is widespread damage to homes and infrastructure.

The quake struck mid-morning and triggered a series of deadly landslides. Three alluvial miners were buried alive near the settlement of Wau and four others died in locations across Morobe and Madang provinces, Manning said.

Missionary groups and private aviation firms have been trying to reach isolated communities and airlift the injured to safety.

Aerial reconnaissance by the Mission Aviation Fellowship indicated "visible slides in the Nankina area and that some are still actively slipping," according to the UN's Papua New Guinea Disaster Management Team.

Many people are feared to have been displaced but early on-the-ground assessments have been sketchy.

Papua New Guinea Red Cross Secretary-General Valachie Quagliata said the area's rough mountainous terrain made access difficult, with the worst affected areas not accessible by car.

Prime Minister James Marape has warned Papua New Guineans to be cautious after the "massive" earthquake, but said its impact was ­expected to be less than a 2018 quake which killed 150 people.

Papua New Guinea sits on the ­Pacific "Ring of Fire," causing it to experience frequent earthquakes.