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At least 7 people killed, widespread damage to homes and infrastructure after M7.6 earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

papua new guinea earthquake september 10 2022

A major earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.6 hit the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea at 23:46 UTC on September 10, 2022 (09:46 LT, September 11) at a depth of 90 km (56 miles).

The quake caused widespread damage to homes and infrastructure, triggered a series of deadly landslides, and left at least 7 people dead, according to official reports released on Monday, September 12.1

However, more people are feared dead as rescuers begin to reach remote landslide-hit communities.

Police Commissioner David Manning said 3 alluvial miners were buried alive near the settlement of Wau while 4 others died in locations across Morobe and Madang provinces.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis, landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to losses.

m7-7 earthquake september 10 2022 papua new guinea bg
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google
m7-7 earthquake september 10 2022 papua new guinea bg2
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Papua New Guinea Red Cross secretary-general Valachie Quagliata said the area’s rough mountainous terrain made access difficult, with the worst affected areas not accessible by car.

The quake has also damaged the Ramu hydropower plant, resulting in a total system outage across the Highlands provinces, Madang, and Morobe.

Quagliata added significant power interruptions are expected in the days ahead.

An undersea cable linking the regional capital Madang to Port Moresby was also affected by the quake, as was a link between Madang and Sydney.

While parts of the highway connecting several main cities have been damaged, regional airports in Goroka and Lae-Nadzab remain open.

Prime Minister James Marape said the earthquake’s impact is expected to be less than a 2018 quake that killed 150 people.

References:

1 Papua New Guinea Quake Toll Rises To Seven – AFP – September 12, 2022

Featured image credit: Hindustan Times (stillshot)

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