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At least 670 people were killed in the Papua New Guinea earthquake

At least 670 people were killed in the Papua New Guinea earthquake


Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape addresses the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York, New York on Friday, September 24, 2021. Swimming pool photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License copy

The death toll from the earthquake that struck Papua New Guinea has risen to at least 670 people, according to official reports issued by the United Nations Migration Agency on Sunday.

Al Jazeera reported, citing Enga Provincial Governor Peter Ipatas, that the “huge” earthquake caused “loss of life and property” in at least 6 villages.

The quake was centered in the village of Kawkalam, about 370 miles northwest of Port Moresby, the capital of the South Pacific island nation, and occurred around 3 a.m. local time on Friday.

Jessica Washington, Al Jazeera's Jakarta correspondent, said the disaster affected a community of mostly subsistence farmers who live in a “very remote and mountainous area where landslides are common.”

“Many homes have been destroyed, as have the gardens that people depend on to feed themselves in these communities,” she added.

The earthquake occurred in an area where landslides are common, and officials reported that homes were “buried.”

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said he had not been fully briefed on the disaster, but officials were sending crews to address infrastructure issues.

“I will publish more information because I am fully aware of the extent of the destruction and loss of life,” Marape said.

Images posted on social media showed a path of damage and devastation, such as a large piece of rock and soil being torn away from a densely vegetated hill.

ABC News reported that convoys are trying to deliver humanitarian aid such as food and water to survivors in the affected area.

Papua New Guinea is located just north of the equator and usually receives a large amount of rainfall. But this year has been particularly wet. A landslide in a neighboring province killed at least 23 people last month.




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