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Strong 6.7-magnitude quake hits Papua New Guinea: USGS

An undated handout photo received on March 5 from Oil Search Limited shows damage to Oil Search’s Iagifu Ridge Camp in Papua New Guinea. Some 67 people were killed by a major earthquake that devastated Papua New Guinea’s remote highlands last week, the Red Cross said Monday, with thousands displaced from their homes from landslides. The fallout is compounded by the suspension of the impoverished country’s biggest-ever development — the PNG LNG project operated by US energy giant ExxonMobil — as the quake-hit facilities undergo repairs for eight weeks. / AFP PHOTO / EXXONMOBIL PNG / 

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, US seismologists said, a week after a major quake in the same remote highland region killed at least 67 people.

It was the strongest aftershock yet to hit the Pacific nation’s mountainous interior, where a state of emergency has been declared as rescue workers struggle to reach cut-off villages following the 7.5-magnitude quake on February 26.

The latest earthquake, recorded just after midnight early Wednesday (1400 GMT Tuesday), hit at a depth of 33 kilometres (20.5 miles), according to the US Geological Survey.

Last week’s disaster was described by Australian officials based in the country as the biggest earthquake to hit the highland region in a century.

Thousands remain homeless and without food and clean water in Southern Highlands, Western, Enga and Hela provinces, the Red Cross said, with blocked roads and power outages as well as a series of strong aftershocks hampering rescue efforts.

No official government death toll has been released.

The affected region is roughly 600 kilometres (370 miles) north-west of the capital Port Moresby.

Water and sanitation are major concerns for local communities, with relief workers unable to get bigger food trucks through to some areas because of damage to roads by landslides.

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Papua New Guinea
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