Earthquake death toll rises to 53

The death toll from the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that severely hit the two highlands provinces and parts of Western province has risen to 53, as confirmed by the two respective provincial disaster offices.

There are also unconfirmed causalities reported in Hela Province particularly in Falu, Aiya and Mapuli but the exact number of causalities is yet to be confirmed.

As at 5th March 2018, the Southern Highlands Provincial Disaster offices reported 37 deaths mostly in Mendi area due to landslide and collapse of retaining walls. At least 300 people were injured. There are also unconfirmed causalities reported in Mendi, Ialibu, Pangia and Nipa-Kutubu.

Meanwhile, the Western Provincial Disaster Office confirmed 13 people dead, 3 injured and another 3 unaccounted for.

A detailed damage assessment will be conducted by National Disaster Centre together with its humanitarian partners and will confirm the exact number of people affected and lives lost.

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