6.2-magnitude Earthquake Rocks Papua New Guinea

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea today, the united states Geological Survey said. The quake hit soon after 4pm local time with a depth of 19 miles some 75 miles south of Kokopo, the administrative centre of PNG’s East New Britain province, the USGS said. Regardless of the earthquake strike near to the shore no tsunami warning was issued, authorities said. Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Trevor Allen said coastal communities close to the epicentre could have felt ‘quite strong ground shaking’ because the tremblor was near to the shore. But, he said, the region was relatively sparsely populated and flexible building design locally helped limit contact with damage from quakes. There have been no immediate reports of harm to buildings or injuries, authorities said. The East New Britain region is among the most seismically active regions on the planet and would tend to obtain an earthquake of the size a few times per year,’ Allen said. Miriam Koikoi, a receptionist at Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort, said the shaking was ‘not that big’ and she hadn’t seen any signs of damage. PNG sits for the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which really is a hotspot for seismic activity because of friction between tectonic plates. Its mountainous and remote terrain means it often takes several days for information regarding damage from quakes to attain officials and aid agencies.

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Indonesian military chief Hadi Tjahyanto said one armed soldier and something armed officer would be positioned on every aid truck and soldiers will be delivered to secure markets, the airport and fuel depots to keep order. He added a Singaporean military transport plane can help evacuate victims from your airport in Palu. Australia announced it’ll send 50 doctors within a $3.6m aid package. AMERICA and China are among other countries which have offered assistance. With the quake zone, water may be the main issue because a lot of the supply infrastructure continues to be damaged, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at UN headquarters in NY. Haq said the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs has asked the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, to send social workers towards the affected area to aid children that are alone or became separated from their own families. And he said the planet Health Organization is warning a insufficient shelter and damaged water sanitation facilities may lead to outbreaks of communicable diseases.

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The Indonesia-based ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance said that more body bags were “urgently” needed as fears grow that decomposing corpses could give a breeding ground for deadly diseases. The death toll has risen to 1,407, in accordance with Indonesia’s disaster agency. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson with the national disaster agency, said on Wednesday that 519 bodies have already been buried as rescue workers scrambled to find survivors round the ravaged city of Palu. Underlining the growing sense of urgency, Indonesian President Joko Widodo made his second stop by at the disaster zone on Wednesday, gaining an orange hard hat to speak to rescue workers with a collapsed Palu hotel. The president needed reinforcements within the seek out victims, after inspecting what he named an “evacuation” effort with the Hotel Roa Roa, where he said some 30 people lay buried within the ruins. Rescue workers were scrambling on Wednesday to find survivors round the ravaged seaside city of Palu, with officials saying they’re “racing against time” to get anyone alive. Rescuers were concentrating on six key sites around Palu – the Hotel Roa-Roa where around 60 folks are still believed buried, a retail center, a restaurant plus the Balaroa area where in fact the sheer force on the quake temporarily liquified the planet earth. Authorities set a tentative deadline of Friday to get anyone still trapped beneath the rubble, of which point, the probability of finding survivors will dwindle to almost zero. At Palu’s stricken airport, a huge selection of victims were waiting to board Indonesian military transport planes for being evacuated to Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province. The injured and the ones with children received priority seating over the Hercules C-130 aircraft. Al Jazeera’s Ted Regencia reported from your scene.