Land still moving and deaths toll still rising, says PNG PM

3:48 pm on 9 March 2018

Papua New Guinea's prime minister says the land is still moving and the death toll still growing after last week's magnitude 7.5 earthquake in the Highlands region.

Peter O’Neill comforts a woman in an area affected by the 7.5 quake.

Peter O’Neill comforts a woman in an area affected by the 7.5 quake. Photo: Supplied/ PNG Government

Peter O'Neil said the lives of over 100 Papua New Guineans have been lost, with many more missing and thousands injured.

Mr O'Neil said the scale of the disaster was immense and ongoing, as huge aftershocks continued to rock the region.

He said he flew over major landslips on Wednesday that were not there after the initial quake.

Mr O'Neill said the government's immediate focus was the restoration of essential services and the delivery of food, water and shelter, but he said full recovery from the disaster would take several years.

The Prime Minister said social damage to communities was huge and the earthquake will be a source of sadness and sorrow for generations to come.

A group of people in one of the areas hit by the PNG earthquake

Photo: Supplied/ PNG Government

Meanwhile, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck at a depth of 15 km, and was located 20 km east of Taron on New Ireland, early this morning.

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