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.

No comments:

Post a Comment