PNG earthquake death toll stands at three

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird has confirmed the death toll from Sunday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake stands at three people.

RNZ Pacific reported on Tuesday that five people had died as a result of the earthquake. However, two people were killed by landslips due to heavy rain, unrelated to the quake.

Bird said damage assessments of the province lead by local councillors were being finalised for a final report on damages.

A state of emergency has been declared in the province battling twin disasters, after heavy rain caused widespread flooding just days before the earthquake struck.

“No military have been deployed, so we’ve pulled all our public servants from their normal duties and assigning them to various places to go out and respond.”

“We need tarpaulins, we need water containers, food supplies and basic kitchen items for when people rebuild,” he said.

Clean drinking water

The governor said his greatest concern was peoples access to clean drinking water.

The US embassy had not yet responded to his call for support, but he was still waiting in confidence.

“We’re quite certain the US embassy will be willing to help.”

The need was for buckets and water filters to distribute to people in the worst affected areas near the Sepik River: Angoram, Wosera Gawi, Ambunti-Drekikir.

He said clean drinking water would be “critical in about three weeks”.

“We’re still trying to get fresh water and drinking containers in so when it’s raining, they can still collect rainwater.

“But once the waters recede…then then we’re going to have really serious issues.”

“Thank you to the people of New Zealand for their concerns. We appreciate that, you know people around the world are paying attention.”

At least 1000 homes have been destroyed.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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