(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency)
Sydney, Jumada II 14, 1439, March 02, 2018, SPA -- The government of Papua New Guinea has declared a state of emergency in areas hit by a devastating 7.5-magnitude
earthquake, which is believed to have killed dozens of people.
The earthquake hit the provinces of Southern Highlands, Hela, Enga and Western, in a remote and heavily forested area some 560 kilometres north-west of Port Moresby, early Monday, cutting off communications and transport connections.
"This is an unprecedented disaster in the highlands region and the appropriate response is underway by the national government," Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said in a statement late Thursday.
"A State of Emergency has been declared to expedite the restoration of essential public services including healthcare services, schools, road access, airports, power and communications facilities." The government has also allocated 140 million US dollars for relief operations, to restore services and rebuild infrastructure.
It has also created an emergency disaster restoration team and authority.
O'Neill said relief efforts are already underway, as the country's defence forces, as well as disaster officers, have been dispatched to the affected areas immediately after the earthquake.
But local residents in the quake-hit area have told media that they had not received any help.
02:42 LOCAL TIME 23:42 GMT