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Death toll mounts after Papua New Guinea quake

6 March 2018

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has expressed her solidarity and concern at the devastation and loss of life caused by last week’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Papua New Guinea’s remote highlands. In extending her sympathy to the people and Government of Papua New Guinea, the Secretary-General said her heart went out to those who have lost loved ones, and to all who have been directly affected in other ways, including by being displaced or made homeless.

Aftershocks continue to impede rescue efforts in the region, and current estimates indicate that close to 70 people have lost their lives, and 500 are injured.

Secretary-General Scotland commended the efforts of the Government of Papua New Guinea, led by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, and national and local emergency services which together with interventions by other responders including the Red Cross, Australia and New Zealand, are assisting with recovery and providing aid, but are being hampered by bad weather and the severely damaged transport and communications infrastructure.