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Papua New Guinea: Earthquake - Sep 2022

Disaster types

On 11 September at 9:46 local time (10 September at 23:46 UTC), a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck about 67 km east of Kainantu, Eastern Highlands and 80 km north-west of Lae Morobe according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The earthquake was felt around the country, including in Port Moresby with moderate to severe shaking. A second earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 occurred at 10:42 local time about 73 km north-west of the epicentre of the previous earthquake. The Disaster Management Team reported moderate to heavy damages to dwellings made from light materials and minor to moderate structural damages to multi-story buildings in communities around the epicentre and as far away as the Morobe provincial capital of Lae and in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, about 120 km from the epicentre. According to the USGS, about 2.5 million people or 475,000 households live within 95 km of the epicentre. (ECHO, 11 Sep 2022)

One day following the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck about 67 km (41 miles) east of Kainantu, Eastern Highlands, information is beginning to emerge on its impacts. The number of confirmed deaths is now seven — including three newly reported deaths in Kabwum district, Morobe, at the epicentre of the quake, according to Police Commissioner David Manning. (UNCT in PNG, 12 Sep 2022)

According to the latest report of the Papua New Guinea Disaster Management Team (DMT), 24 people have been injured, and 389 houses collapsed (all in Madang Town). In addition, the same source reports widespread power outages, communication infrastructure disruptions and damage to roads and bridges. (ECHO, 13 Sep 2022)

The total number of confirmed deaths is now 12. The number of people with injuries is now at 42. Assessments were completed in Morobe and Eastern Highlands provinces. Primary observations conclude that damages were mostly limited to dwellings and other structures made from light materials. (UNCT in PNG, 16 Sep 2022)