11 Sep 2002

PNG Army called in to help restore water supply in earthquake-hit Wewak

4:51 pm on 11 September 2002

The governor of the earthquake-hit East Sepik province in Papua New Guinea says the army has been called in to help restore water to the capital, Wewak.

Arthur Somare says all of the schools remain closed and the hospital is only taking in emergency cases after the town water supply was destroyed in the 7.6 magnitude earthquake.

He says the death toll remains at four, many houses were destroyed in nearby islands and close to 40 people needed hospital treatment.

Mr Somare says the defence department is sending in the army in an attempt to hurry along the restoration of the water supply.

"They do have the pipes in Lae and they'll be flying those pipes on the army Casa aircraft into Wewak, possibly by the end of the weekend, we should be able to restore water back into Wewak itself."

Mr Somare says a water truck is topping up supplies at the hospital and people are being supplied with large containers of water which is being trucked in from other areas.