At 3.44am on the morning of the 26th March 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earth quake, on Richter scale, with continuous aftershocks, rocked the highlands western end, with an epicenter 14km from Komo Oil fields and 90 km south of Porgera Gold mine. Massive landslides and land slips, that covered whole villages and even river systems, damages so many modern buildings, power pylons, communication towers, cutting off roads, shutting down the Komo Airport, affecting most infrastructure and services to the four provinces (Hela, SHP, Enga and Western Provinces). More that 100 lives were lost including children and a number of whole families, who were taken by surprise.
The national government declared a state of emergency on the 2nd March 2018 to assist in the relief and recovery effort of this huge disaster for the highlands provinces that had never experience such in the recorded history. Oil Search, Exxon Mobil and other LNG contractors, MAF PNG, Ausaid, NZ Aid, Government of China, NGO’s as PSI PNG, Care, World Vision, SDA Aviation, and many other agencies with coordination from the National Disaster and Emergency Services have commenced assessment and relief to those affected communities.
Destruction of properties and loss of business have been estimated to exceed hundreds of millions. The population affected exceeds 100 000.
Several weeks after the earth quake, the aftershocks are also felt. With a continued wet weather floods have been experienced across some rivers, and land slide risks have increased for the affected communities. Disease out breaks due to water and food shortages or contamination of whatever limited available water , is high with warnings already issued, while relief efforts are moving in.
Further updates will be posted by Guard Dog Security in the coming days and weeks as the situation unfolds, with services slowly restored and repair works commenced.