PNG reaches out to tsunami victims

National, Normal

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday pledged more than K4 million in assistance to the
victims and families of the tsunami that hit Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.
In a statement yesterday, Sir Michael said: “We have had a similar experience with the Aitape tsunami in 1998 and received assistance from churches, non-governmental organisations, our development partners and many other sympathisers.
“In the same way, in our fellow Pacific Islanders’ time of need, I commit NZ$2.5 million (K4.93 million) to the governments of American and Western Samoa (NZ$1 million each) and Tonga (NZ$500,000) in the recovery and restoration process following this unfortunate disaster,” Sir Michael said.
In letters to the heads of government of the three affected islands, Sir Michael expressed on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea, his sincere condolences to the families and peoples of American Samoa, Western Samoa and Tonga on the tragic loss of lives and property caused by Tuesday’s tsunami.
“Our prayers and heartfelt sympathies are with you during this time of grief and sorrow,” Sir Michael said.
He also said PNG was ready to assist in other ways, which he did not specify.
A tsunami sparked by an earthquake devastated the three countries on Tuesday morning, killing more than 140 people and displacing thousands.