A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Papua New Guinea on Sunday, killing at least four people and injuring several people and damaging property and essential infrastructure.
The quake struck about 67 kilometers east of Kainantu and 80 kilometers northwest of Lae, in eastern Papua New Guinea, around 9:45 a.m. local time (2345 GMT on Saturday), but was felt about 500 kilometers away. away in the capital, Port Moresby.
The full extent of the damage was not immediately clear, as the location of the quake was remote. Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” an area of high seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.
Although the government did not give any death toll, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Asia and the Pacific said at least four deaths and four injuries had been recorded.
One person was killed in a landslide in Rai Coast, Madang, and three others were buried in Wau, Morobe, OCHA’s disaster management team said in a report posted on Twitter.
The regional power grid, Internet cables and regional highway were damaged, but the airport is operational, he said. Some of the injured were airlifted for immediate treatment.
Local residents shared images and videos of cracked roads, damaged buildings and cars, and items falling off supermarket shelves on social media.
The UN report indicated that there were people injured by falling structures or debris, and that there was damage to some health centers, homes, rural roads and highways. Electrical infrastructure was damaged in the affected areas, causing a blackout in the eastern highlands.