More than 30 people are believed to have died after a powerful earthquake struck Papua New Guinea’s mountainous interior, a report said Tuesday (Feb 27) as rescue teams worked to reach the worst-hit areas.
The 7.5-magnitude tremor struck 90km south of Porgera in the Pacific nation’s Enga province early Monday, with two strong aftershocks rattling the rugged region.
Phone lines have been largely cut, but the PNG Post Courier newspaper cited Hela provincial administrator William Bando as saying there were casualties.
It reported that at least 13 died in the Southern Highlands capital Mendi while 18 others were believed to have been killed in nearby Kutubu and Bosave.
Some 300 people were injured, it added, and properties destroyed, with reports of landslides and sinkholes.
The Papua New Guinea Today website, quoting Catholic priest Pius Hal, said at least 10 died, including four children, in quake-triggered landslides.
AFP was unable to confirm the death toll.