Volunteers rush to rescue PNG quake victims
Remote areas pose challenge to rescuers
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — Volunteer rescuers ran non-stop airlifts to remote areas of Papua New Guinea on Tuesday, seeking to reach victims still stranded two days after a massive 7.6-magnitude earthquake.
The quake rattled a broad area of the country’s north, killing at least seven people, but the scale of the disaster is only slowly coming into focus.
At least 389 houses collapsed in the town of Madang alone, according to United Nations assessors now on the ground. It is expected the damage toll will rise as ground staff reach other communities.
Maki Igarashi from the International Federation of the Red Cross told AFP it was “very difficult access to most of the locations” because of the affected area’s remoteness.
The earthquake’s epicenter was in “the middle of the jungle,” she said.
With government resources limited, much of the rescue effort has been carried out by small private companies and volunteers.
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