Papua New Guinea: At least 18 killed in quake aftershock

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill receiving Chinese Communityin PNG donation of K1.3 million

The tremor, shortly after midnight local time, struck just 30 kilometres southwest of the epicentre of last Monday's magnitude 7.5 quake that has left government and aid agencies scrambling to provide emergency supplies to the remote region. "Every little movement scares them".

"It appears Hides was hardest hit".

The quake measured magnitude 6.7 and was centred 370 miles northwest of the capital Port Moresby at a fairly shallow at a depth of 14.3 miles.

A spokeswoman at Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Centre said on Wednesday that authorities had not yet finalised a casualty report.

The Australian and New Zealand defence forces have began delivering aid, while the China Red Cross and Beijing have pledged financial assistance, according to the PNG Post-Courier.

The recovery effort has been slow as aid workers grapple with blocked roads and power outages to reach cut-off villages after the 7.5-magnitude quake struck on 26 February in the Pacific nation's mountainous interior.

"It is beyond the capacity of the provincial government to cope with the magnitude of destruction and devastation", Powi said.

"People are bewildered and traumatised by the severe events. and families continue to sleep outside for fear of the ongoing aftershocks", said United Church Bishop Wai Tege. He said help from overseas and from local aid agencies was slowly coming in.

The rainy season is also a concern as the International Red Cross warned the situation could worsen further if heavy downpours hit.

A resident receives medical treatment after an natural disaster in Papua New Guinea in this handout image released March 7, 2018.

The Red Cross said its initial assessments suggest 143,000 people affected, with an estimated 500 people injured and 17,000 people displaced from their homes.

65% of Papua New Guinea's health facilities remain closed and schools may remain closed for the duration of the school year due to the damage sustained.

Various oil and mining companies have shut down their operations in the quake zone, including Exxon-Mobil, the operator of PNG's biggest resources development, the PNG LNG project, worth $19 billion.

He said the donation will go towards the most remote areas in the affected quake region and also for recovery of important infrastructure and road accessibility. All employees and contractors were safe.

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