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Quake relief for PNG

Strong relief assistance pledges have come in, including US$5 million from Oil Search Limited, global oil and gas giant ExxonMobil US$1 million, China Foreign Affairs and China Red Cross, on top of the government’s own K300 million (US$93.8 million) for the earthquake disaster affected areas in PNG.

The Royal Australian Air Force was first last week to provide a Hercules C130 aircraft to ferry in relief supplies and conduct aerial surveys around the affected zones.

Over the weekend, ExxonMobil, which is also the developer and operator of the PNG LNG Project, provided aerial support for disaster officials and stakeholders to make on the spot assessments of the affected areas and extent of assistance required respectively.

The two-pronged Chinese assistance was announced yesterday but its value has yet to be made known adding to the sizable commitments that have been made and are yet to come in.

Among others the PNG Red Cross together with provincial and district emergency and disaster committees have also conducted preliminary assessments of the affected areas.

Members of the PNGDF and National Disaster Office were first on the ground to conduct assessments following the unprecedented earthquake early last week.

The government on Thursday announced Dr William Hamlin as the emergency controller, together with K100 million for immediate release for emergency operations and a further K200 million for long-term restoration purposes.

Parliament will sit soon to ratify the declaration of a state-of-emergency for the affected provinces.

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