UNICEF responding to those affected by Papua New Guinea earthquakes

UNICEF responding to those affected by Papua New Guinea earthquakes

UNICEF responding to those affected by Papua New Guinea earthquakes

Three magnitude five aftershocks hit the nation's Southern Highlands region on Monday.

"What we experienced this morning could have caused more damage, but we don't know ... it nearly threw me out of bed". Severe damage after Monday's powerful 7.5 magnitude quake in Papua New Guinea is hindering efforts to assess the destruction, although officials fear dozens of people may have been injured or killed.

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 February 26 in the Pacific nation's mountainous interior.

Aid workers say almost 150,000 people are in urgent need of emergency supplies with many of them displaced as their homes are either destroyed or badly damaged.

"The challenge is road access, it's still not accessible to trucks and four-wheel drives", Regmi said. One resident described huge devastation and said he was living on top of the rubble of his home with dwindling food supplies and contaminated water to drink. Regmi estimated that at least 500 people are injured and 127,000 are in need of immediate assistance.

"Public health and public hygiene are now concerns", Anna Bryan, program director for CARE International in PNG, said.

"The impact on local communities within our operational areas has been enormous, with many deaths in the region as well as the destruction of houses, schools, roads and bridges", Mr Botten said. Some 670,000 people live within 62 miles of the earthquake's epicenter, the Red Cross said.

Australian and New Zealand defence forces have pitched in to deliver aid, while the China Red Cross and Beijing have pledged financial aid.

Santos also said it would give more than $250,000 to aid agencies in PNG on top of a $1.3 million donation it has already provided to Hela Provincial Hospital.

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