Four children are among at least 10 people killed in the Southern Highlands after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake stuck the highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Half the number of reported deaths are in Mendi town.
Catholic priest, Fr. Pius Hal, told EMTV, two children belonging to a Local level government president are among five killed by quake triggered landslips. The other two were children of a senior Southern Highlands public servant.
Family members are in shock and have gathered at hauskrais. Another family – a man, his wife and child – are still buried in the rubble.
“We could not sleep. The quake began at 3.45am. We all went out of our houses.”
Mobile phone towers have also been damaged making communication between the Southern Highlands and other centers difficult.
The epicenter of the quake was located 89 kilometers south-west of Pogera at the depth of 35 kilometers.
In the Western Province, mining infrastructure belonging to Ok Tedi have also been damaged. Roads are cut off and pictures show massive landslides along roadsides and rivers.
In Western Highlands, electricity is still cut off. Some workers in the center of town have returned home after their buildings were declared unsafe.
The National Government has since sent an assessment team to the Southern Highlands to assess the damage.