Thursday, March 22, 2018

Oil Search sees Gobe plant operational this week after PNG quake
March 20, 2018

SYDNEY—Australia’s Oil Search Ltd. said on March 20 that it expects its Gobe processing plant and oil export pipeline in Papua New Guinea to be operational later this week, after a deadly earthquake hit last month.
Oil Search said the Gobe facility and its export pipeline were largely undamaged in the magnitude 7.5 quake that struck on Feb 26.
The company said its condensate handling facilities, part of the giant PNG LNG project, were also ready to receive PNG LNG condensate once production at the Hides gas conditioning plant comes back on stream.
The Hides plant was shut down after the quake by operator ExxonMobil, which said earlier this month the PNG LNG project would be shut for about eight weeks for inspections and repairs.
Oil Search said it expects its central processing facility at Kutubu, another oil and gas field, to be “progressively restored from late March,” while its Moran oil and gas field would take longer.
“The Agogo processing facility and the Moran 4, 6, 9 well pad, which are in the area most impacted by the earthquake, will require some repairs before production from the Moran field can recommence,” Oil Search said in a statement, without giving a repair timeline.
At least 100 people were killed when the powerful quake hit the remote and rugged highlands three weeks ago, triggering landslides that buried villages and destroyed infrastructure.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Health facilities devastated by PNG quake
March 21, 2018

21 MARCH 2018, PORT MORESBY - A third of all health facilities have closed in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces as a result of the Papua New Guinea earthquake.
On 26 February, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea, triggering landslides, affecting water sources and wiping out houses, health facilities, people and crops.
More than 190 aftershocks have been recorded, according to the United States Geological Survey, including one as recently as 20 March.
Results of a joint National Department of Health (NDOH) and World Health Organisation (WHO) assessment show that 25 out of 77 health facilities in the two worst-affected provinces are no longer functioning.
The total number of closed facilities is potentially higher, as data from eight health centres remains unavailable due to access constraints.
“This disruption to health service provision comes at a time when people are most in need of care,” said Dr Luo Dapeng, WHO Representative to Papua New Guinea.
 “As aftershocks continue, affected communities are dealing with injuries and psychological trauma.
"We’re also worried about potential outbreaks of epidemic-prone diseases.
"We must move swiftly to restore health services.”
Overcrowding in informal camps and a lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation increase the risk of disease outbreaks.
Vaccination coverage was low prior to the earthquake and the country was already facing outbreaks of malaria, pertussis and measles.
Roads, rivers, airfields and bridges have been impacted by the earthquake in a part of the country prone to violence and insecurity.
Access to affected communities has therefore been extremely challenging.
“Responding to the health needs in Papua New Guinea is definitely not easy,” said Dr Luo.
“But we’re determined to find ways, alongside our partners, to deliver life-saving health services to even the hardest to reach communities.”
WHO is supporting the National Department of Health (NDOH), provincial health authorities and partners with information management, technical guidance and logistics.
As the Health Cluster lead agency, WHO plays an active role in coordinating the activities of 25 health partners in order to align efforts, fill gaps, avoid duplication and ensure that response efforts reach those most in need.
The organisation is also supporting the strengthening of disease surveillance and has pre-positioned medical supplies in preparation for potential outbreaks, including seven diarrhoeal disease kits and rapid diagnostic tests for dengue.

More Australian humanitarian assistance to Papua New Guinea

Media release
20 March 2018

Today during a visit to Port Moresby, I announce additional support for recovery and reconstruction efforts in Papua New Guinea’s highlands region following the devastating 7.5-magnitude earthquake on 26 February.
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop

More than 125 people were killed by the earthquake and its aftershocks and the UN estimates 500,000 people have been affected.

Australia has been helping with relief efforts through emergency supplies and specialist personnel, transport and distribution in affected areas, helping to restore electricity and supporting vulnerable women and children.

The ADF has played a vital role by providing a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules and three Army CH-47F Chinook helicopters to support humanitarian activities.

These have enabled ADF members and their PNG Defence Force counterparts to deliver food, water and medicine to remote and badly affected communities.

My visit to Papua New Guinea will also give me the opportunity to meet and thank Australian Defence Force members who have been supporting the humanitarian relief effort.

The Australian Government is now providing an additional $3.4 million in assistance to help affected communities re-establish their livelihoods, repair and rebuild infrastructure and restore water and sanitation, with a specific focus on the needs of women, girls and people with disabilities.

 We have also deployed a three-person Australian Medical Assistance Team to assess health needs and determine what additional assistance may be required.

This brings our humanitarian aid for the earthquake response to $5 million.

Australia and PNG have a close and enduring friendship and we stand ready to provide further support to affected communities, if required.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Australian Rotary Club Papua New Guinea Earthquake Appeal

Rotary Club of Caloundra

To aid the recovery efforts in Papua New Guinea following the loss of life and property due to the Earthquake on 26 February 2018 in the Southern Highlands, our Rotary District 9600 has established an Earthquake Recovery Fund which will accept tax deductible donations.
The Government declared a state of emergency on 2 March for Hela, Southern Highlands, Western and Enga provinces.
According to initial estimates, over 544,000 people are affected across the five most affected provinces.
Over 270,000 people require immediate humanitarian assistance.
PNG is an important part of our Rotary District and needs our support following this disastrous event.
The appeal is open to the public, as well as to clubs and members, to make contributions.
Rotarians will know that on 26 February 2018 an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude occurred about 3am in an area of the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Due to the isolated location access has been very difficult.
The PNG Army has been working with assistance from RAAF Chinook helicopters and C130 Hercules aircraft.
However due to landslides and damage to roads and bridges very little other support is getting through.
The area is still suffering aftershocks, with villagers not prepared to go back to their homes.
The current death toll has risen to 125 with over 35,000 displaced.
District has established a fund through Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) to aid the recovery.
Past District Governor Charles Guesdon is the Project Manager ably assisted by Assistant Governor and PNG Liaison Mary Grant.
Donations to this fund are tax deductable through RAWCS.
District will make available $10,000 from the District Disaster Fund and clubs and members may make contributions through this link.
The Project name is:
Papua New Guinea Southern Highlands Earthquake recovery
The RAWCS reference is 75-2017-18
Further details will be circulated as they come to hand.
PNG is an important part of our District and need our support following this disastrous event.
Please consider and give generously.

Together in Rotary Service,
John Lane
Governor 2017-18

More information:
Papua New Guinea: Highlands Earthquake Situation Report No. 1 (as of 10 March 2018)

US, UN back efforts to assess impact of Papua New Guinea earthquake, deliver aid to survivors
March 16, 2018

Port Moresby – Almost three weeks after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck Papua New Guinea’s remote provinces of Hela and Southern Highlands, International Organsation for Migration (IOM) teams are working with the government and partners to assess the full impact of the disaster and deliver essential lifesaving aid to survivors, even as landslides and aftershocks continue to affect the region.
The government estimates that over 544,000 people across five provinces were affected by the quake, which left at least 145 people dead.
Families in Hulia-Beleria displaced by the February 26, 2018, earthquake which struck Hela province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: David Helo / United Church in Hela

Over 270,000 are in need of immediate aid, including food, water, medicines, tarpaulins, tents and blankets.
The government and its aid agency and private sector partners have targeted seven of the worst-hit Local Level Governments (LLGs) in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.
 It has also set up two forward operating bases and two emergency operations centres close to the quake’s epicentre.
But while main roads have largely been cleared, aid workers warn that damage estimates may continue to rise as many affected communities remain cut off by landslides and are only accessible by air.
“Many among the affected populations live in remote communities that are a challenge to access at the best of times.
"In the face of a natural disaster of this magnitude, they have become even more isolated.
"Air support to reach these people is critical,” said IOM PNG Chief of Mission Lance Bonneau.
IOM, which is leading the Shelter, Non-Food Item (NFI), and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) clusters in the emergency response, has deployed displacement tracking teams, assisted by oil and gas company ExxonMobil and other local partners on the ground, to assess the impact, needs, and assistance gaps for people affected by the quake.
The mapping generated by the displacement tracking matrix (DTM) will contribute to the PNG National Disaster Center’s coordination of the multi-partner relief effort to ensure that the right assistance gets to the populations who need it most.
IOM, which this week received USD 100,000 from USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, has already delivered basic shelter and non-food relief items to over 400 displaced families.
The US funding will allow it to provide basic shelter, water and sanitation to another 800 of the hardest hit families and will also support training for local authorities and NGOs managing Care Centre shelters for quake survivors.
Another USD 100,000 channeled to IOM last week by UNOCHA – the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – will be used to provide more lifesaving aid, including shelter materials and water containers, to another 2,500 families.
“We welcome the support provided thus far, but the needs remain significant.
"The full impact of the earthquake is still coming to light, as landslides continue to affect unstable areas.
"Traditional water and food sources have been compromised and entire populations have been traumatised by the scale of this disaster.
"We need to continue to address the immediate needs of those most affected, but we also need to think about longer term recovery and reestablishment of community infrastructure.
"Shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene are critical needs now and will continue to be into the foreseeable future,” said Bonneau.

For further information, please contact IOM Port Moresby. Wonesai Sithole, Tel: +675 4 3213655 Email:  or Lance Bonneau, Tel: +675 321 36 55, Email:

Friday, March 16, 2018

PNG Air reports improved 2017 performance

PNG Air Press Release

PNG Air has reported a significantly improved performance in 2017 with overall revenue growing by 28% in 2017 compared to 2016.
“The growth in revenue despite soft prevailing economic conditions supports the airline’s strategy of re-fleeting by bringing in brand new ATRs and shows that we now provide a competitive alternative for the travelling public of Papua New Guinea,” said Murray Woo, chairman of directors of PNG Air.
PNG Air ATR at Kagamuga Airport in Mt Hagen.

“Our vision in re-fleeting and rebranding the Airline was to bring first world aviation services to PNG.
"Our challenge now is to make air travel more available to the people of PNG and to keep improving the service we offer."
While revenue grew, the airline recorded an operating loss before abnormal items and tax of K4 million in 2017, which is a significant improvement compared to the K34.84 million operating loss in 2016.
The loss including abnormal items before tax amounted to K11.95 million
in 2017 (K73.53 million in 2016).
Woo commented “While the operating loss represented an improvement over 2016, we were aiming to make profits in 2017, but the soft PNG economy, weak global resource prices, foreign exchange difficulties and fuel prices all worked against us.”
Highlights for the airline for the year included winning the contract to service all of Newcrest’s aviation requirements in PNG, and adding two additional brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft to its fleet, bringing the ATR fleet to seven.
The airline now has the youngest fleet in PNG.
Additionally, the airline opened airport lounges at Lae and Mt Hagen, and completed conversion of one of its Dash 8 aircraft to a full freighter configuration, able to carry up to four tonnes of freight.
Woo said “We are confident about the future for PNG Air.
"The economy is expected to grow and there should be more investments in the resource sectors.
"PNG Air has the right aircraft and people to provide the aviation services that will require, putting us is in a strong position to benefit  as growth occurs.”
PNG Air Ltd operates ATR 72-600 and Dash 8 aircraft to 25 ports throughout PNG, with 410 flights each week carrying over 450,000 passengers each year.

PNG earthquake response logistics situation update (14 March 2018)
March 14, 2018



● The Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) through the Emergency Controllers Office, has established Forward operating bases as well as Logistics Bases, with privately donated services from commercial operators and international donors in Mt. Hagen and Moro. There are Emergency Operations Centres in Mendi and Tari from the National Disaster Centre.

● The above have been established to serve the worst-hit 7 Local Level Governments (LLG) in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces, namely: North Koroba, South Koroba, Yahapuga Rural, Koma rural, Hulia Rural, Nipa Rural and Lake Kutubu Rural.

● Wide-spread damage to infrastructure, including airfields, bridges and access roads, and further landslides caused by recent heavy rains, have been hampering access to affected communities.

● GoPNG has cleared the main Highlands Highway connecting Western Highlands, Southern Highlands, and Hela. However, several roads linking to the Highway remain impassable.

● Fixed and rotary wings assets by the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces (ADF and NZDF) - made available to support the immediate emergency response phase - are being phased out CH 47 on Friday 16 March and C130 on Monday 19 March, 2018.

● A system to request and coordinate the tasking of military and private sector assets has been put in place by the logistics coordination team (further information in the sections below).


● The NZDF C-130 which was based in POM to support the initial relief efforts, completed operations on 14 March 2017. The ADF C-130 - also based in POM for rotations to Mt Hagen and Moro will complete its last task on 19 March. The C-130 is currently fully tasked until 17 March. Three ADF CH47 Chinook helicopter will also complete their tasking on 16 March.

● Oilsearch and ExxonMobil have three Bell 212 helicopters available for loading from Moro.

● MAF has two Twin Otters and three Cessna Caravans for use with some limited cost recovery.

● The phasing out of foreign military assets will increase current gaps in reaching hard-to-reach and remote communities living in locations primarily accessible via helicopter. Alternative / commercial transport options and resourcing are being looked into to address this gap.

*Click this link for a PDF

UNICEF Australia launches appeal to help 125,000 Papua New Guinea children urgently needing assistance following earthquakes
March 15, 2018

UNICEF Australia is appealing to the public to help fund its relief effort for the children of Papua New Guinea affected by February’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake - and more than 100 quakes and tremors.
270,000 people, including 125,000 children, require urgent humanitarian assistance in areas where homes, subsistence farming and basic infrastructure including telecommunications, roads, hospitals and schools were destroyed.
The four provinces affected are in the rugged, mountainous area of PNG called the Highlands Region.
“Children are in a constant state of fear and exhaustion.
"Thousands of survivors are crowded into inadequate shelters where some relief is being distributed.
"But children are still extremely traumatised and hungry and face the risk of disease, malnutrition and lack of protection – and are of course out of school,” said Karen Allen, UNICEF PNG Country Representative.
In the hospitals and clinics still open, people have been admitted with trauma injuries, including crushed bones.
 One woman admitted to Mt Hagen Hospital said she had lost her husband and seven of her children.
One boy, receiving treatment after being hit in the head by falling rocks, says everyone in his village has lost their homes and food gardens. Eleven of his neighbours died.
“Tens of thousands of children in the Papua New Guinea Highlands desperately need our support and protection.
"We need to provide space spaces for children who lost the safety of their homes and schools when these collapsed around them,” said Tony Stuart, CEO of UNICEF Australia who just returned from meeting affected families in Mt Hagen.
Donations received by UNICEF Australia will directly support children affected by the earthquakes in the Southern Highlands and Hela provinces, to help them access ‘Child Friendly Spaces’.
These are spaces where children are protected from abuse and violence, and where they can receive psychosocial support and counselling.
UNICEF is also working closely with partners and the Papua New Guinea Government to deliver hygiene kits, basic sanitation and delivery of vaccines for children and women.
 Funding is needed to restore damaged ‘cold chain’ facilities to properly store vaccines and ensure that devices are in place for hypothermia and neonatal resuscitation.
About half of children under-five in Papua New Guinea are chronically malnourished; the highest rate in the Pacific and fourth worst in the world.
 A high proportion are not fully vaccinated.
The situation is likely to get worse with the ongoing emergency so UNICEF has prioritised ready-to-use therapeutic food and micronutrients for children, and vaccinations.



UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit

For more information, please contact:

Charlotte Glennie, UNICEF Australia, +61 420 407 886,

Andreas Wuestenberg, Emergency Specialist, UNICEF East Asia & Pacific,

Chinese Government provides humanitarian emergency assistance to Papua New Guinea

Chinese Ministry of Commerce

Since February 26, 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and several aftershocks struck central Papua New Guinea, which was the largest earthquake since 1922.
By March 7, the earthquake has caused at least 122 deaths and over one hundred million yuan losses, and many buildings have been destroyed.
To show the Chinese government’s friendship and support for the government and people of Papua New Guinea as well as the international humanitarian spirit, the government of China initiated the emergency humanitarian assistance mechanism and decided to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to help Papua New Guinea deal with this disaster and post-disaster reconstruction. 

Further New Zealand support for Papua New Guinea earthquake
March 16, 2018

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced a further $3 million (K6.96 million) package of support following the February 26 earthquake in Papua New Guinea.
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters 

“The full extent of this disaster is only becoming clear now nearly three weeks later; there has been extensive damage to water and food sources, transport infrastructure and significant loss of life,” Mr Peters said.
New Zealand has been working with the Government of Papua New Guinea, Australia and other donors to provide humanitarian relief, transporting relief supplies from New Zealand to Papua New Guinea and from Port Moresby into the Highlands.
This latest funding will be used to meet ongoing needs on the ground and includes up to $1.5 million for New Zealand NGOs with local partners to deliver ongoing emergency relief and early recovery activities in the Highlands.
“The Highlands region of Papua New Guinea is a challenging environment and the response and subsequent recovery will take time. This additional support reflects this,” Mr Peters said.
This funding is in addition to an initial package of $500,000 and the deployment of a New Zealand Defence Force C-130 Hercules carrying emergency supplies to Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea: Highlands Earthquake Situation Report No. 2 (as of 14 March 2018)
March 14, 2018

This report (click to get PDF of full report) is produced by the National Disaster Centre, the Office of the Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Coordination and Assessment (UNDAC) Team in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It was issued by the Disaster Management Team Secretariat. It covers the period from 10 March to 14 March 2018. The next report will be issued on or around 16 March 2018.


According to initial estimates, over 544,000 people are affected across the five most affected provinces. Over 270,000 people require immediate humanitarian assistance.

Priority needs include medicine, tarpaulins and tents, blankets, food, and water.

The Government, private companies and humanitarian partners have focused initial relief efforts on communities in the worst-hit seven Local Level Government (LLGs) in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.

Main roads linking Hela and Southern Highlands provinces have been cleared, but many communities can only be reached with air assets.

The Government has established Forward Operating Bases in Mt. Hagen and Moro, as well as Emergency Operations Centres in Mendi and Tari.

544,368 affected people

270,442 people in need of assistance

18,200 displaced in 26 informal care centres

7 LLGs prioritized for urgent assistance

Situation Overview

The National Disaster Centre (NDC) estimates that around 544,000 people have been affected in five provinces and that more than 270,000 people are in immediate need of assistance. According to the Government, the death toll has reached more than 100 people. Reports from provincial disaster offices confirm 37 deaths in Southern Highlands Province, mostly in the Mendi area due to landslides and collapsing walls, over 300 injured people. The Western Provincial Disaster Office has confirmed 13 people killed, three injured and another three missing. Many reports of casualties across the affected provinces remain to be confirmed. The full impact is likely to remain unclear as many areas remain difficult to reach.

Based on preliminary estimates, earthquake intensity mapping and assessment data, the Government has prioritized:

37,689 people most severely affected and in need of immediate assistance in 7 LLGs1 in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces;

232,753 people affected and needing assistance in Hela and Southern Highlands and some areas in Western Province; and

273,926 people affected covering remaining areas in Hela, Southern Highlands, and many communities in Western and Enga provinces.

Many locals are traumatized and afraid of returning to their homes, and staying in informal care centres or with family or community members. Displacement tracking has been rolled out in the 7 most affected LLGs to assist in identifying the needs of the displaced communities. Currently, households are living in clans within the care centres (health facility, schools, churches and host communities). While estimates are difficult given the nomadic nature of the population and the fluctuations between night and day populations in the care centres, approximately 18,200 people are displaced and staying in informal care centres, with thousands more staying with families and host communities. Data collected from Komo-Magarima District’s, Hides 4 in Komo LLG, Timu and Lau in Hulia Beneria LLG show that there is an estimated total of 7,000 displaced persons with the majority being women - Hides 4 (63%) and Timu (55%), and there are more males (54%) than females in Lau. Displaced communities and households have restricted movement and access to available services due to fear of their tribal enemies.

A number of health facilities have been damaged, some significantly, while many more remain inaccessible. According to the Hela Provincial Health Authority, there are 34 operational health facilities in Hela comprising Tari provincial hospital, 4 health centres and 29 sub-health centres. In Southern Highlands Province, the main referral hospital is functioning, but the operating theatre is not functioning as the anesthesia machine was damaged in the earthquake. In addition to health facility damage and destruction, many health workers have lost their homes, including on-site accommodation at the Mendi hospital and staff accommodation at most health centres in Hela Province. Across both provinces, water systems and cold chain in health facilities are damaged or destroyed, including tanks, pumps, power systems, and refrigeration systems for vaccines. Surveillance systems are not functional, leaving the population highly vulnerable to outbreak risks.

The principle water sources for people in the highlands before the earthquake had been surface water and rainwater collection systems. Many of the water sources have been affected and/or depleted by the earthquakes. Rainwater collection systems have been damaged or destroyed. With no access to safe and clean water, waterborne disease outbreaks, such as diarrhoea, already among the principal causes of under-5 mortality, are most likely to occur. This risk is further compounded by the destruction of sanitation facilities and unsafe hygiene practices. Open defecation in rural communities is widespread. The National Department of Health, supported by partners, are conducting water quality assessments of water sources in Southern Highlands Province and downstream locations in Gulf Province.

Partners are scaling up humanitarian relief efforts and are gaining access to more communities, although there are still unmet needs in many areas. The remoteness and access constraints create logistical challenges and while no major security incidents have been reported, many affected areas have a history of tribal conflict and volatility. To date, most of the main road linking Hela and Southern Highlands provinces have been cleared allowing vehicles carrying relief supplies to pass. Some roads remain blocked with ongoing construction work, but should be opened in the coming week. Due to the ongoing seismic activity and rain, contractors are assigned to station at certain points of the main roads to monitor and clear the roads to allow an uninterrupted flow of vehicles. Remote locations with no road access are still being reached by fixed and rotary wing assets.

Americares responds to Papua New Guinea earthquake

Stamford, Conn. – March 14, 2018 – An Americares emergency team is headed to Papua New Guinea where more than 270,000 people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of a 7.5-magnitude earthquake.
The full extent of the damage is still unknown more than two weeks after the Feb 26 earthquake.
Aftershocks, landslides and blocked roads are hampering the relief efforts.
Local officials are reporting at least 125 people have died and tens of thousands have been forced from their homes.
Survivors desperately need medicine, tarps, blankets, food and water, according to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team.
 Those displaced include traumatised survivors afraid to return home due to aftershocks.
“Our first priority is ensuring survivors have access to critical health services,” said Americares vice-president of emergency programmes Kate Dischino.
 “Once we have a team on the ground we will have a better understanding of the situation and the most urgent needs.”
Americares, a health-focused relief and development organisation, is prepared to deliver medicine and relief supplies and support the restoration of health services for survivors.
Emergency response experts from Americares offices in the United States and the Philippines will deploy this week.
Americares helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters, increase access to medicine and medical supplies, improve and expand clinical services, prevent disease and promote good health.
 Its emergency response team responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year from earthquakes and cyclones to disease outbreaks and civil conflict.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Police update on earthquake relief efforts

Story by Police Media Unit

Major relief efforts are now underway following the major earthquake that struck Hela and the Southern Highlands provinces.
A massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Southern Highlands and Hela in the early hours on Monday,  Feb 26, and since then continuous aftershocks have been felt all over the two provinces.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commander Highlands Western End Kaiglo Ambane, police have set up two Relief Operations Command Centres.
They are in Tari at the Curtain Brothers camp site and the other one in Mendi at Mendi Police Training Cell where officials are collecting reports and coordinating relief operations.
The worst-hit areas in the Southern Highlands are Mendi/Munhiu, Karins, Lai Valley, Kandep-Mendi border, Pangia and Nipa/Kutubu. 
In Hela , areas mostly affected are Komo-Margarima, Tari, Koroba and Mt Bosavi areas.
From the reports received at the command centres, 45 have died so far in the Southern Highlands and in Hela 80 people are confirmed dead. 
It is expected that the figure might increase once all people have been accounted for.
In addition, there were three major land slips at the sections of Mendi-Karinj Road, and Poroma and-Kutubu Road. 
Access to Kutubu was blocked but was cleared last Thursday. 
Mendi-Kandep Road is still blocked off and work is in progress to reopen the land. 
Debris of land slips from Mt Hagen to Mendi and from Mendi to Tari have been cleared.
A few cracks along the Highlands Highway have been secured to one-lane passage from Wara Agule to Mendi.
  Moreover, over 15, 000 people were reported displaced in the Southern Highlands. 
Most of those people were put into seven care centres – five at the Kutubu area and one each at Poroma and Mendi/Munhiu district.
 In Hela, total reported displaced is about 20,000 of which 16,000 from Komo area. 
Care centres are being set up around the air fields throughout the Hela Province.
Ambane said three secondary schools in Mendi, Nipa and Kutubu were badly affected by the earthquake and still remain closed. 
Mendi Nursing College and Kutubu Technical College also remain closed.
 In Hela, all schools are affected and remained closed.
Government officials sent to the districts are still making assessments and collecting data on deaths and destructions caused in the two provinces.
In Southern Highlands,  the Department of Works and the PNG Defence Force have made assessments on the roads and the clearing exercise is progressing well.
In terms of security, one PNGDF Platoon with two Sections of MS10 are on the ground in Mendi with other police Units throughout the province are assisting.
 “So far there are no problems with security in the Southern Highlands Province,”  Ambane said.
Security personnel in Hela include 45 PNGDF personnel, 17 Correctional Services officers and local police personnel.
Ambane said an additional mobile squad team was required in Hela. 
He said Provincial Administrator William Bando was seeking approval from the National Disaster Office for funding before engaging the squad.

ExxonMobil PNG supports reestablishment of healthcare in the Highlands

Story and pictures by ExxonMobil PNG

Port Moresby – Supporting the restoration of health facilities in the Highlands for the recovery of the communities is one of the ways that ExxonMobil PNG is supporting the nation’s relief efforts following the devastation of the earthquake on Feb 26.
ExxonMobil PNG managing-director Andrew Barry said: “Several of the health centers in the communities near our Hides Gas Conditioning Plant have been damaged or have been displaced following the earthquake.
ExxonMobil PNG managing-director Andrew Barry and company volunteers packing food supply to be sent up to Moro.

" In addition to assisting with delivering critical medical kits, we are helping with assessments and providing logistics support to the health workers, as relief agencies work to re-establish health services in affected communities.”
Meanwhile, deliveries of food, water supplies, tarpaulins for shelter as well as medical and hygiene kits continue for communities across the Highlands including Kutubu in the Southern Highlands, Hulia, Tari, Hayapuga and Komo in the Hela Province and Huiya in Western province.
ExxonMobil PNG volunteers packing food supply to be sent up to Moro.

ExxonMobil PNG has so far delivered over 20 tonnes of food and water, over 200 tarpaulins and 35 hygiene kits in addition to support for relief agencies that require transport for their workers to affected areas.
For the longer term, ExxonMobil PNG is planning to support the re-establishment of food gardens in a number of our project area communities, with its partners from the ANU Enterprise (ANUE), through its existing community livelihoods improvement program.
“Similar to healthcare, the re-establishment of food supplies for the community here is going to be important in the following weeks and months," Barry said.
"Our ANUE partners have indicated they will be looking to get back into the field shortly to help address the critical need to re-establish food gardens in communities near our facilities."
ExxonMobil PNG volunteers packing food supply to be sent up to Moro.

ANUE project-manager Owen Hughes said: “We have been working with ExxonMobil PNG and target communities in the Hides area since operations began in 2014 to address food security, vulnerabilities and income generation.
"To support the restoration of communities recovering from the earthquake, our teams are currently preparing to get into the field to assist them with initial planting materials so that they will be able to grow their own food again."
Plans by ANUE include issuing to some 2,500 families quick-growing corn seed that can be harvested within 100 days of planting, and the purchase and distribution of vegetative cuttings for longer-term staples like sweet potato and cassava.
ANUE will also be providing garden tools for people to cultivate their gardens again.
Said Barry: “ExxonMobil PNG is committed to supporting the long-term recovery of quake-impacted communities around the Hela, Southern Highlands and Western provinces and will continue working closely with relief agencies and the National Disaster Centre in its efforts.”

Four-year old Sosa getting medical attention at Moro clinic

Story and pictures by Oil Search Ltd

Four-year old Sosa Sammy hung on tightly to her dad as they disembarked from a helicopter at Oil Search’s Moro logistic base on Tuesday.
Young Soso Sammy with her dad at the Oil Search clinic at Moro.

She has just completed her first ever helicopter ride – a 15 to 20-minute flight from her Huiya village in Mt Bosavi – one of the worst hit areas by the February 26 earthquake.
Sadly, she was travelling with a fractured arm.
Sosa was evacuated to the Moro clinic by the Oil Search emergency medical response team who identified her injury during their visit, taking in food, other relief aid and medicine, as well as conducting on the spot medical assessments of patients at all locations they are visiting.
Oil Search to date has visited 24 villages and conducted on the spot medical treatments and health assessments.
According to Sammy, his family was fast asleep when their house, a traditional kunai grass thatched roof started shaking. Everyone panicked and ran out of the house, he himself jumping to the ground from the veranda.
Sosa was fast asleep and was left behind, but as the house continued to shake, she woke up and tried to find her way out.
She started calling out to her parents, as she tried to walk down the steps to them but with the continuous shakes, she lost balance and fell awkwardly, landing on her hands.
“She started crying in pain, calling my name,’’ Sammy said.
"Amidst all the panic and confusion, I went to find her and found her crying in pain.
 “I tried to comfort her and keep her steady, not knowing whether the earthquake would continue or not, at the same time trying to keep my family together. I felt totally lost and hopeless for my family.’’
The Oil Search emergency response team visited Huiya on Sunday March 11th but could not stay long due to bad weather. Sammy told the team about young Soma’s condition.
The team returned to Huiya on Tuesday
when the weather improved.
Sosa was administered some painkillers and advised to wait for the helicopter to arrive.
Tenk yu Oil Search, na tenk yu long ol dokta na nurse ol kam lukim mipla na helpim Sosa. Sapos ol ino kam, mi no save long wanem samtin bai kamap long pikinini blong mi. (Thank you Oil Search, thank you to the doctor and nurse that came to see us and help Sosa. If they didn’t turn up, I don’t know what I would do with my child,’’ Sammy said in Moro.
Sosa is now recovering at the Moro clinic and will have a cast placed on her hand.
Oil Search’s Dr Alben Yama shows young Soso some pictures to ease her into a clinic environment, away and outside of her familiar surroundings at Huiya village.

Oil Search has now visited more than 80 villages dropping of relief aid and providing medical assistance where required.
The company’s Moro clinic has attended to more than 166 patients, with seven evacuated to Port Moresby and five to Mendi and Tari respectively.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Israel sends generators to Papua New Guinea after deadly earthquake

by JNS,
March 13, 2018

“I will bless those who bless you And curse him that curses you; And all the families of the earth Shall bless themselves by you.” Genesis 12:3 (The Israel Bible™)

In the wake of a devastating earthquake in Papua New Guinea, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs  Agency for International Development Cooperation has delivered 40 electricity generators to affected communities there.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Papua New Guinea’s prime minister Peter O’Neill in an Oct. 15, 2013 in Jerusalem.
Photo by: Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90

The generators were delivered on March 8 by Yaron Sultan-Dadon, Pacific Islands adviser at the Israeli Embassy in Australia.
A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Feb. 26 left 100 people dead and cut off electricity to 150,000 residents. Israel was one of the first countries to send aid.
Then on March 8, the country was rocked by a 6.8 magnitude aftershock.
Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill thanked Israel for its friendship and support.
“Relations between Papua New Guinea and the State of Israel are strong, and our government and the people of PNG appreciate the support and friendship of Israel during these challenging times,” he said.
“We look forward to further cooperation and the enhancement of the close ties between our countries and our peoples.”

Monday, March 12, 2018

United Nations supports Government of Papua New Guinea in its earthquake response efforts

Relief supplies are starting to be distributed in earthquake affected areas of Papua New Guinea, with water, food, shelter, medicine and the provision of health services identified as the priority needs.
“We are working closely with the Papua New Guinea government to coordinate the earthquake response to ensure that relief supplies and services meet people’s most pressing needs, and reach the communities that need them most,” said UN Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla, said today.
 Rampolla said a lack of information from affected areas and disparities in information that is available has been a challenge to coordinating aid efforts. However, the development of a draft response outline document by the PNG National Disaster Centre (NDC) with support from the UN is expected to address many of the challenges the response has been facing.
NDC acting director, Martin Mose, said all information relating to the earthquake and affected areas must be channelled through the NDC to be processed accordingly for an effective response.
“We need reliable information to make good decisions for an effective response, and we must continue to work together with partners to achieve this,” said Mose.
Over half a million people have been affected by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the Highlands region of PNG on February 26, destroying homes and infrastructure, triggering landslides, and affecting water sources.
According to the National Disaster Centre, 270,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, however, this figure may rise as more information becomes available.
Enga, Gulf, Hela, Southern Highlands and Western Highlands provinces have all suffered damage, with Hela and Southern Highlands worst affected.
Out of this, 37,000 need urgent assistance.
Understanding the full extent of the impact of the earthquake in remote or mountainous areas is severely challenging as physical access to many affected areas remains limited.
The United Nations through its agencies and partners have distributed emergency shelter materials to 200 households in Southern Highlands and Hela provinces. Bottled drinking water mobile water purification units, water storage tanks, and food packs have also been distributed by partners.
The UN has also sent vaccines to Hela, Southern Highlands, Enga and Western Highlands provinces, which will be used to immunise infants and pregnant women, to prevent an outbreak of disease.
A health emergency team visited Hela and Southern Highlands provinces last week to provide immediate medical assistance, assess damage to health facilities and plan for the rapid resumption of life-saving health services.
Safe spaces for vulnerable women and young girls are being established, and dignity kits are being distributed.
Last week, a team of emergency experts from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) deployed to PNG following the Prime Minister’s declaration of a State of Emergency, to assist the PNG Government in assessments, response coordination, logistics and information management.
The team will deploy to Mt Hagen, Mendi and Tari on Tuesday Tuesday, March 13,  to augment the Government-led response coordination.
“The UNDAC is working closely with the NGOs and UN agencies who are in the field, and are supporting the provincial administration to strengthen the response to get aid to those who need it as quickly as possible in a highly challenging operating environment,” said Rampolla.
Situation updates from the PNG Disaster Management Team Secretariat are available here:
-United Nations

Papua New Guinea – Australia partnership helping to restore power across the Highlands

 Papua New Guinea and Australia are working together to restore critical power supplies across parts of Southern Highlands and Hela provinces following the devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
Working closely with PNG Power Ltd, Australia has provided up to A$400,000 (just over PGK1 million) for the purchase and delivery of 10 80kva transformers that are needed to restore power across parts of Hela Province and Southern Highlands, which have a combined population exceeding 750,000.
Carolyn Blacklock, acting Managing Director of PNG Power Ltd, Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis, Hela Governor Philip Undialu and Southern Highlands disaster committee co-ordinator and representative of the Southern Highlands Governor’s office Dr John Kuimb during the handover of new generators.

The transformers will see reliable power restored to some 3,500 PNG Power customers, including businesses, health clinics, schools and family homes.
Power is critical to businesses across the region.
PNG Power estimates that the economic impact of the power outages caused by the earthquake already exceeds K4 million in losses to local businesses.
Hospitals and schools across the region are also reliant on reliable power supply to maintain their normal operations.
Hela Governor Philip Undialu and Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis with the new generators before they were transported to parts of Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.
The new ABB transformers were delivered by a Hevilift ATR freighter aircraft to Mt Hagen on Saturday.
Immediate transit on to Mendi and Tari was arranged via helicopter to ensure the transformers could be delivered as rapidly as possible.
 PNG Power is now working to install the transformers in locations across the two provinces in order to re-establish reliable power supplies to critical infrastructure.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill welcomed the close partnership with Australia to support communities impacted by the earthquake.
“Papua New Guinea welcomes Australia’s response to provide humanitarian relief and essential infrastructure to those most in need. This reflects our true partnership,” he said.
Carolyn Blacklock, acting managing-director of PNG Power Ltd, was pleased by the rapid response.
“This was an excellent collaboration between PNG Power Ltd and Australia, with valuable assistance from Cardno and Hevilift," she said.
"Close teamwork has enabled us to respond very rapidly to restore the power network at a time when it is most needed."
Australian High Commissioner  Bruce Davis noted Australia’s commitment to supporting PNG in this difficult time.
“Australia will support Papua New Guinea’s efforts, both in the initial humanitarian response and in future reconstruction efforts, in the wake of this terrible disaster,” he said.
“We are very pleased to have been able to provide this immediate support to PNG Power to reconnect businesses and communities across the region.
"This effort is a very powerful example of what we can achieve when we work together.” - Story and pictures by Australian High Commission

Oil Search provide urgent relief food, medical supplies to Bosavi

Oil Search yesterday provided medical treatment to 44 people at Huiya in the Mt Bosavi area and medevacked four to the company clinic at Moro.
The company’s emergency response team visited Bosavi with food, shelter, clean drinking water and medical supplies.
CHECKING IN – A pregnant mother from Huiya at the Mt Bosavi area was medevacked to the Oil Search clinic at Moro yesterday, and as is being accompanied by the Oil Search medical team by mid wife Lily Elizah, Dr Alben Yamba and medic Russell Banks (right)

The medical team, who are members of the emergency response team provided on the spot treatment to the 44.
Providing food, fresh water, shelter and access to medical services and facilities remains Oil Search’s top priority for the people affected by the recent earthquake in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.
This is based on assessments conducted by the company emergency response teams that are visiting villages in the two provinces.
The teams take food and medical supplies with them and provide on the spot medical treatment and medevac the serious cases back to the company clinic at Moro or the Hela Provincial Hospital in Tari.
The Oil Search medical team has treated 44 patients in its Moro base clinic, and the number is expected to increase as the team travels to more locations.
Thirty patients have been treated and discharged, with five evacuated to Hela Provincial Hospital in Tari, and seven evacuated to Port Moresby.
GOING HOME: Women and children who were medevacked from Kekero village last week to the Oil Search clinic have been treated and discharged today, riding home in the helicopter.

The medical response team comprises a medical doctor and medic who conduct rapid assessment at every village, including the state of the village and health centre, and any patients suffering from injury or illness.
To date, the team has completed 19 rapid village assessments and seven regional hospital and health centre assessments.
A total of 22 health centre kits, which comprise medication and consumables have been delivered to the four regional districts – Komo-Magarima, Koroba-Kopiago, Tari-Pori and Nipa-Kutubu.
This information is shared with the National Government and the Hela and Southern Highlands Provincial governments to assist with their relief coordination efforts.
The company commenced earthquake emergency response to affected areas on March 1, and has since reached well over 35,000 people in 42 villages visits.
The Oil Search emergency response teams have returned to an additional 12 villages, reaching about a further 20,000 people.
“We will continue to work with the National Government and its agencies, and other partners, where we can, to address the critical needs of our communities in this difficult time,’’ Oil Search managing director Peter Botten says.
The company has also committed K16 million in cash and kind towards the earthquake relief efforts.
Oil Search’s logistics base at Moro is now the hub for relief effort coordination, working with the PNG Government, the Australian and New Zealand governments, for the use of their Hercules C130 aircrafts, which are moving bulk cargo from Port Moresby and Mt Hagen to Moro for distribution to affected areas.
This was boosted over the weekend with the arrival of two Australian Deference Force Chinooks helicopters, supporting the relief efforts.
Disaster coordination officials are also based at Moro, along with partners such
as the Australian Government, New Zealand Government, MRDC and ExxonMobil who are all contributing to relief efforts.
The Oil Search emergency response teams are distributing food – initially biscuits and water, and then on
the second visit they bring rice, tinned fish, tinned meat, cooking oil, salt, carpentry items, fresh drinking water, purchased by Oil Search as well as distributing other items donated by the Australian government, New Zealand Government and other partners such as Trukai Industries Ltd.
 Water containers and tanks are also being distributed.
Meanwhile, Oil Search is sending a barge to Kikori in the Gulf province relief supplies comprising clean drinking water, water treatment and purifying tablets, tanks and water containers, for the earthquake victims there.- Story and pictures by Oil Search Ltd

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Israel to provide generators and other support to earthquake affected communities in Papua New Guinea

The State of Israel, through MASHAV, the Israeli agency for international development cooperation, has confirmed it stands ready to assist Papua New Guinea in relief efforts being deployed in the highlands regions impacted by the recent 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

Following diplomatic correspondence between Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, arrangements have been made for immediate support.

“I have advised Prime Minister Netanyahu of the immediate needs at the impacted regions, including lack of electric power,” O’Neill said.

“The Israeli Government has responded immediately by delivering 40 generators to Papua New Guinea.

“These generators will provide immediate assistance to communities suffering from damage to critical infrastructure.

“The earthquake has left many locations with no electricity, and restoration of power is essential for these communities.

“The generators will assist in restoring many vital capabilities, such as the provision of water, medicine, communication and other essential services.”

O'Neill thanked Israel for being a true friend of PNG following the unprecedented earthquake disaster in the Highlands.

“Relations between Papua New Guinea and the State of Israel are strong, and our Government and the people of PNG appreciate the support and friendship of Israel during these challenging times," he said.

“We look forward to further cooperation and the enhancement of the close ties between our countries and our peoples.”

 O’Neill and Netanyahu enjoy a close relationship, strengthened during the historical visit by Prime Minister O’Neill to Israel in 2013.

The generators were delivered by the Israeli Foreign Ministry Pacific Islands advisor, Yaron Sultan-Dadon, who has been sent to deliver aid and assess other possible avenues for assistance through Israeli expertise.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Oil Search commits K16 million to earthquake relief

Managing-director of Oil Search Peter Botten announced today that Oil Search will donate up to K16 million (US$5 million) in cash and kind to support disaster relief efforts in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.
Oil Search general manager-stakeholder engagement Leon Buskens assisting to move relief supplies at the Pimaga government station in Southern Highlands province where Oil Search today brought medical supplies, food, water, tarpaulins and sleeping mats. These were supplied by Oil Search and the Australian government.

In supporting Government’s initial efforts, Oil Search has already made its Moro base available as a coordination hub for relief efforts.
Oil Search helicopters and personnel have commenced distribution of initial emergency aid, provided by a range of donors and NGOs and food and supplies donated by Oil
Search, to the hardest hit villages, including Pimaga, where over 2000 people who have lost homes and livelihood are sheltering.
Oil Search general manager-stakeholder engagement Leon Buskens assisting to move relief supplies at the Pimaga government station in Southern Highlands where Oil Search today brought medical supplies, food, water, tarpaulins and sleeping mats. These were supplied by Oil Search and the Australian government.

The damage caused by the recent earthquake is unprecedented,  Botten said: “Communities are without basic necessities.
" We are deeply concerned about the welfare of these communities and are working very closely with the PNG Government’s National Disaster Restoration Team and respective provincial disaster committees to provide assistance, in close partnership with other donors, including the Australia and New
Zealand governments.
"With the important infrastructure in Southern Highlands and Hela so severely impacted by the earthquake, the Moro facilities are an important hub for aid distribution.
"We want to play our part by providing our facilities, people, aircraft, immediate food and relief supplies in helping Government to address the critical needs of our communities in the Highlands.
"Our sympathies and prayers go out to alli mpacted by these tragic events.”
Oil Search general manager-stakeholder engagement Leon Buskens addressing people at Pimaga government station in Southern Highlands where Oil Search today brought medical supplies, food, water, tarpaulins and sleeping mats. These were supplied by Oil Search and the Australian government.

The Australian government has begun to fly in supplies to Moro through Australian Defence Force Hercules planes loaded with water, shelter, medicine, cooking pots, bedding, blankets and other supplies.
New Zealand’s first load of emergency supplies lands tomorrow (Monday).
Oil Search helicopters have commenced distribution of this material to areas across Hela and Southern Highlands.
Trukai Industries has donated 20 tonnes of rice and Oil Search has delivered to Moro over K1 million in food packets that are assembled based on international nutritional guidelines.
Oil Search is also connuing with separate charters loaded with emergency supplies.
These will progressively be distributed to communities in need, over the coming days and weeks.
“We have also responded to calls from the Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority for medical assistance by transporting a medical team to Pimaga, along with emergency medical supplies," Bitten said.
"Medical supplies, provided by the PNG Government and flown to Moro by the Australia Defence Force, have now been delivered to Tari Hospital addressing dwindling stocks
"In the meantime, our engineering and construction resources have been sent from Kopi working north and Kutubu working south, to open the Kopi to Kutubu road, as an alternative to the Highlands Highway.
"This road can become an important route for supply of food, fuel and restoration equipment to earthquake-impacted areas.
“We will continue to help authorities, where we can, to address the critical needs of our communities in this
difficult time.”

Saturday, March 03, 2018

State of emergency declared in Highlands earthquake, K450 million for relief and restoration

Prime Minister  Peter O’Neill has announced that an immediate state-of-emergency has been declared for Highlands earthquake disaster areas in Hela, Southern Highlands, Western and Enga.
The National Executive Council has further approved K450 million for relief operations and to restore services, as well as the formation of an emergency disaster restoration team and the establishment of a restoration authority.
"This is an unprecedented disaster in the Highlands region and the appropriate response is underway by the National Government,” O'Neill said.
"A state-of-Emergency has been declared to expedite the restoration of essential public services including healthcare services, schools, road access, airports, power and communications facilities.
“An amount of K450 million has been approved for disaster relief, services restoration and the rebuilding of infrastructure.
“An emergency disaster restoration team, led by Dr William Hamlin, as the emergency controller, will now manage and co-ordinate all restoration activities working with provincial authorities.
“The emergency disaster restoration team will be supported by Department of Works and Implementation, and all other relevant Government agencies.
"Cabinet has further approved the establishment of a restoration authority that will manage long-term reconstruction efforts over a four-year period to fully restore normalcy.
“An emergency session of Parliament will be convened for the presentation of legislation that will establish the restoration authority, with the date of the session to be announced by the Speaker of Parliament."
O'Neill said relief efforts were already underway, and further assessments provided to focus operations to areas in need.
"Members of the PNGDF and disaster officers were dispatched to the affected areas immediately following the earthquake, and are working with provincial authorities, particularly with the governors of Hela and Southern Highlands provinces," he said.
“Essential government departments are already delivering relief, and we are further working with partners in the international community to utilise specialist relief capabilities to reach our people and communities affected by the earthquake.”

Royal Australian Air Force assists Papua New Guinea after earthquake

The Royal Australian Air Force has deployed a C-130J Hercules to Papua New Guinea to provide assistance, following the earthquake that occurred in the early morning of February 26, 2018.
Unloading relief supplies at Moro Airport

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Highlands region, particularly Hela and Southern Highlands provinces, approximately 600km north-west of Port Moresby.
The C-130J Hercules left from RAAF Base Richmond on  March 1,  2018 and arrived in Port Moresby, where it has begun distributing humanitarian aid bound for earthquake affected areas.
The medium-sized tactical air-lifter has also been requested to conduct aerial surveillance of affected areas in support of thePNG Government.
Back of the aircraft

Humanitarian duty officer at the Australian High Commission in PNG,  Darian Clark, said the earthquake affected many of the peoples living within the PNG highlands.
“This was the biggest earthquake in a hundred years and it spread 150km across the fault line,”  Clark said.
“A number of urban settlements, as well as villages, have been affected.
Humanitarian supplies

" Many in the form of landslides and landslips, which means that roads have been cut off, water contaminated, power knocked out and other widespread effects for the local people.
“This is the first round of humanitarian relief supplies to be provided to the affected area and we understand there is a desperate need for the items we’re taking up.
" So I think the priority of what we are doing cannot be understated.
“We have a mixture of medical supplies and equipment; tarps, tents, blankets and water containers, the essentials of life, following a formal request we received from the Papua New Guinea Government on Wednesday.
“It really confirms the solidarity that Australia has with Papua New Guinea, in times of crisis.
" It has all been made possible, of course, by the C-130J here in country.
"It means that we have been able to respond even quicker than we hoped for.”
Further assessments of the impact, including in remote areas, will be required before the level of damage caused by the earthquake and ongoing aftershocks can be ascertained.
C-130J Hercules Captain, Squadron Leader Justin Della Bosca, said the aircrew from Number 37 Squadron train for these specific kind of emergencies.
“The C-130J Hercules is a medium tactical air-lifter and Number 37 Squadron specialises in highland of Papua New Guinea operations.
"We conduct a lot of training throughout the year to ensure we are ready for this exact kind of emergency,” Squadron Leader Della Bosca said.
“The Hercules has extremely good short field performance and extremely good hot temperature and high altitude performance as well.
"This means we can lift a large amount of cargo out of very short airstrips.
“The Papua New Guinea environment is probably one of the most challenging aviation environments in the world, so all of the pilots at Number 37 Squadron have a lot of respect for the weather and the terrain in Papua New Guinea.”
The thoughts and sympathies of the Royal Australian Air Force are with the Papua New Guinean people affected by the earthquake.

ExxonMobil provides US$1 million for earthquake relief efforts in Papua New Guinea

Company assisting in relief and recovery efforts; flies relief organizations to affected area
• Working closely with government agencies to determine where and how to direct resources
• Assessment of company operations and facilities continues

– Exxon Mobil Corporation said today that it is providing $1 million for the humanitarian relief effort in Papua New Guinea to assist communities affected by a powerful earthquake and aftershocks in the country’s Highlands area.
“We are deeply saddened by the devastation this earthquake has brought to Papua New Guinea,” said Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer.
"Our highest priority remains the safety and security of people in the Highlands community.
It’s our hope that our contributions of funding, equipment
and other support will provide some relief in a very challenging situation.”
ExxonMobil is assisting national and international aid agencies and relief organisations with rapid response community assessments.
 The company is sourcing tarpaulins, water purification tablets, waterc ontainers, food and other humanitarian supplies, and is working with essential service providers to pre-position and distribute resources to areas in the greatest need.
 ExxonMobil is also helping to reestablish reliable communications, providing phones to relief agencies and organising community meetings.
“In response to the prime minister’s immediate state of emergency, we have committed to deploying our
expertise and resources to aid recovery efforts in the wake of this natural disaster,” said Andrew Barry, managing director of ExxonMobil PNG.
 “We are working closely with the National Disaster Centre, aid
agencies and our community partners to determine where best to direct our resources.”
On Thursday, ExxonMobil, utilising a company-chartered helicopter, led a team of emergency assessment and relief personnel on one of the first visits to the Highlands area since the disaster.
On board were disaster assessors from international aid agencies and representatives of various relief organiSations including the United Church, Salvation Army, International Organisation for Migration,dventist Development and Relief Agency and the United Nations Development Programme.
Anticipating immediate resource needs, the team delivered essentials, including shelter equipment, water and sanitation support to the Para Health Clinic, which serves the Para, Tokaju and Hides areas.

Status of ExxonMobil’s Papua New Guinea operations

The company continues to assess operations and facilities in the country.
 Operations have been safely shut down at two liquefied natural gas trains at its PNG LNG plant near Port Moresby, the Hides Gas
Conditioning Plant and Hides well pads in Hela province, and non-essential personnel from the Hides plant have been evacuated.
There is no damage to the pipeline and no reports of gas leaks from the complexes.