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Magnitude 6.0 aftershock rattles Papua New Guinea

Staff Writer |
Strong aftershocks rocked Papua New Guinea’s remote and rugged highlands, a week after the largest quake to hit the region in almost a century killed at least 31 people.

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Three aftershocks stronger than magnitude 5 shook the mountainous Southern Highlands, about 600 km (370 miles) northwest of the capital Port Moresby early on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, including a shallow magnitude 6 quake.

Papua New Guinea’s national disaster centre could not immediately be reached by telephone.

The strong tremors hit a region already badly damaged by the magnitude 7.5 quake that struck on Feb. 26, triggering landslides, flattening buildings and closing oil and gas operations.

At least 13 people were killed when hamlets nearest the epicentre were buried, while most of the other casualties were in the provincial capital of Mendi and the township of Tari, officials told Reuters.

Aid agencies have said nearly 150,000 people remain in urgent need of emergency supplies following that quake as damaged roads and landslides hampered the delivery of aid to isolated communities.

Australia, New Zealand and the Red Cross have all pledged aid, though reaching the remote area has proven challenging.

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