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6.9 magnitude earthquake destroys 1,000 homes in Papua New Guinea


NEW DELHI: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked northern Papua New Guinea on Sunday has destroyed more than 1,000 homes, said officials as authorities scramble to ensure relief in the flood-hit northern region.
“So far around 1,000 homes have been lost,” said East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, adding that emergency crews were “still assessing the impact” from a Sunday morning tremor that “damaged most parts of the province”.
The “notable quake” hit some 88 kilometres (54 miles) southwest of Wewak, the USGS said, a town of 25,000 people that serves as the capital of Papua New Guinea’s East Sepik province.
Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on top of the seismic “Ring of Fire” — an arc of intense tectonic activity that stretches through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.
Although they seldom cause widespread damage in the sparsely populated jungle highlands, they can trigger destructive landslides.
At least seven people were killed in April last year when a 7.0-magnitude quake hit a jungle-clad area in the country’s interior.
Many of the island nation’s nine million citizens live outside major towns and cities, where the difficult terrain and lack of sealed roads can seriously hamstring search-and-rescue efforts.
(With AFP inputs)

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