The Latest: Quake death toll now at 55 in Papua New Guinea
WELLINGTON, New Zealand
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The Latest on recent Papua New Guinea earthquakes (all times local):
An official in Papua New Guinea says at least 55 people are confirmed dead and the toll could exceed 100 from last week’s powerful earthquake.
Survivors faced more shaking from the strongest aftershock so far, a magnitude 6.7 quake early Wednesday.
Southern Highlands Governor William Powi told The Associated Press that people were feeling traumatized from the disaster and ongoing aftershocks.
The magnitude 7.5 quake on Feb. 26 destroyed homes and triggered landslides in a remote region and information has filtered out slowly.
Powi said 39 people had died in his province and with death reports still coming from remote areas, he feared the death toll would rise to over 100.
The National Disaster Centre says its current estimate ranges between 55 and 75.
Another strong earthquake has shaken a remote Papua New Guinea region that was badly damaged by a powerful quake last week.
The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday’s earthquake measured magnitude 6.7 and was centered 112 kilometers (70 miles) southwest of Porgera. It was fairly shallow at a depth of 22.9 kilometers (14.3 miles). Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage on the Earth’s surface.
USGS said the quake was followed by two others measuring magnitude 5.0 and 5.1. Strong quakes also hit earlier in the day.
The region is remote and sparsely populated, making information about possible damage and injuries hard to confirm.
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake on Feb. 26 killed at least 15 people, injured dozens and brought work to a halt at four oil and gas fields.