Hela hit hard, says Undialu

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HELA Governor Philip Undialu says there has been widespread damage in the province caused by yesterday’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
He said the scale of damage was huge and stretched from Hela to Southern Highlands and to Western Highlands.
Undialu was in meetings with officials from the national disaster office, prime minister’s office and others yesterday in Port Moresby. A team will leave for Hela today to assess the damage.
He told The National last night that all communications to the area had been cut off because of the collapse of towers.
“The acting provincial administrator (William Bando) has also been meeting with stakeholders. We’ve resolved to send in an advance party (today) to take stock of the damage done,” Undialu said.
“The scale of damage, from information we are getting from the ground, is quite extensive. There are about 19 landslips between Mendi and Mt Hagen.”
Undialu said power lines between Koroba and Tari had been damaged.
“Our police station, courthouse, hospital, Tari-Pori district office, even private houses have been ripped apart or sunk into the ground,” he said.
“It’s going to be a massive recovery exercise. We should know the full extent of damage when we go in.
“All communication networks are down and the only areas that we have been able to get through are the Agro Industrial Centre at Koroba, Tari Hospital and the ExxonMobil site.
“That is why we have not been able to get much information.”

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