Papua New Guinea rattled by new earthquake
Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 17:02 - A new earthquake struck the country of Papua New Guinea Tuesday (early Wednesday morning local time), just two weeks after a stronger tremor in the same region killed dozens of people and caused millions of dollars in damage.
This week's quake was rated Magnitude 6.7, and struck in the country's mountainous interior at a depth of 33 km. Aftershocks had been continuing since February 27th's Magnitude 7.5 tremor, and several more aftershocks have been detected in the wake of this latest quake, most of them in the Magnitude 4-5 range.
No tsunami warnings have been issued, and it wasn't immediately clear if the latest tremor caused any more deaths.
Last month's tremor triggered several mudslides that bolstered the death toll in the quake's wake. The official number of fatalities has risen to 75, according to Reuters, with many forced to live in emergency shelters as many buildings that survived the quake are too unstable to live in.
“Mothers and children are so traumatized. Even my own children are refusing to sleep in our house. Every little movement scares them,” James Komengi, a United Church project officer, told Reuters.
Drinking water supplies are also still under threat in many areas, as the quake damaged water infrastructure and mudslides contaminated other sources. As well, road infrastructure was damaged during the event, making it harder for aid to reach more remote areas.
"There are big cracks along the roads and even roads completely cut off. So that’s making it quite difficult to get water, food and medicine to the remote areas,” Milton Kwaipo, an officer for aid charity Caritas Australia, told Reuters.