Quake buries three alive in Wau as PNG reports death toll of seven

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Victims of the Papua New Guinea earthquake on Sunday from Wauko village being treated in Angau Hospital after being airlifted to Lae
Victims of the Papua New Guinea earthquake on Sunday from Wauko village being treated in Angau Hospital after being airlifted to Lae. Image: Post-Courier screenshot APR/Manalos Aviation

By Samson Bonai in Port Moresby

Three alluvial miners were buried alive at Koranga mining area in Papua New Guinea following the earthquake which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale which hit Morobe province on Sunday morning.

The PNG Post-Courier today reports a death toll of seven after the devastation from the quake in the Morobe, Madang and the Highlands region.

The three miners — all from one family — who died were working inside a tunnel at the mine site at Koranga Creek when the earthquake hit the area about 11.30am.

The miners felt the earthquake and made their way out of the tunnel but they were too late and were buried alive.

A small girl who accompanied them to the mine site was sitting outside the tunnel. She felt the earth shaking and ran to the safety of higher ground and alerted the community.

The community went to the disaster area and retrieved the three bodies from beneath the rubble. They took the bodies to their house at Koranga compound.

Wau-Waria police station commander Senior Inspector Leo Kaikas confirmed the death of the family members and said their bodies would be transported by road to Lae to be placed at the Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae.

“The miners should take extra care when engaged in alluvial mining activities near the steep areas along Koranga creek and Mt Kaindi areas,” Kaikas said.

“I’m still carrying out assessment on the extent of the damage around Wau Waria district to confirm the number of people who were affected by the landslip following the earthquake.”

Wau Urban Ward 11 Member Rumie Giribo said arrangements had been made to transport the bodies to Lae to be placed at the morgue at the Angau Memorial Hospital.

Republished with permission.

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