Powerful aftershock hits Papua New Guinea a week after deadly quake

The Gobe production facility for the PNG LNG plant

The Gobe production facility which feeds PNG LNG

A new quake struck the country of Papua New Guinea Tuesday (early Wednesday morning local time), just two weeks after a stronger tremor in the same region killed dozens of people and caused millions of dollars in damage.

Local media outlets reported the death toll from the original quake had risen to 75, after government officials said previously that 55 people had been killed.

Johnny Blades has more.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the magnitude 6.7 tremor, which struck shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning local time.

James Komengi, a United Church project officer, speaking from Tari, the capital of quake-affected Hela province, said his church's assessment and response centre had counted up to 67 deaths in that province alone.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will make a further deployment of aid to Papua New Guinea to help with the emergency response following the 7.5 magnitude natural disaster last Monday.

"Mothers and children are so traumatized".

Aid efforts are being hampered as rescue workers struggle to reach the highlands area as many roads are either badly damaged or blocked. "Every little movement scares them".

The International Red Cross warned the situation could deteriorate if heavy rains hit the region.

The Australian and New Zealand defence forces have began delivering aid, while the China Red Cross and Beijing have pledged financial assistance, according to the PNG Post-Courier.

Drinking water supplies are also still under threat in many areas, as the quake damaged water infrastructure and mudslides contaminated other sources.

"Compounding the fallout was an announcement on Monday that the impoverished country's biggest-ever development €" the PNG LNG project operated by USA energy giant ExxonMobil €" will be offline for up to eight weeks as the quake-hit facilities undergo repairs.

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