On 26 February, a powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck the southern highlands region of Papua New Guinea. Dozens have been killed and hundreds injured as homes and buildings collapsed.
“Most of the affected people have been sleeping outside because of the severe aftershocks and the fear that buildings will collapse.”
– UCPNG Disaster Risk Reduction team leader
As terrifying aftershocks continue to hit the region, our church partners in the area and their disaster recovery teams are responding to the crisis.
Our partner, the United Church in Papua New Guinea (UCPNG) are calling for prayers and support as they respond to the urgent needs of affected people.
Last week, the UCPNG Disaster Risk Reduction team joined the Hela regional disaster recovery team to make a situation assessment and response plan.
They reported that at least 30 people were killed and hundreds injured as houses and buildings collapsed across the Hela region. Landslides and sinkholes are still threatening lives, and the death toll is expected to rise as the rescue teams get to more remote areas. Homes, schools, churches and health clinics have been destroyed. Many buildings that didn’t collapse are now too dangerous to enter.
At the Tente UCPNG mission station, only the church building and the conference hall are still standing out of more than a dozen buildings. Power, water and communications infrastructure have been severely disrupted, hampering local coordination of the disaster response. The UCPNG disaster recovery teams have determined the initial areas of greatest need and are busy contacting local health workers, church leaders and pastors to send them where they’re most needed.
Our partners are in need of your support to help fund essentials:
The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) state the most efficient and cost-effective way of helping those affected by a disaster is with your donation. We ask you to please refrain from sending physical items, for more information please visit: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/challenges-unsolicited-bilateral-donations-pacific-humanitarian-responses
Help our partners in Papua New Guinea respond to this emergency
All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.
Meet the United Church in Papua New Guinea
(Video highlights their work in water and sanitation in Milne Bay, 2017)