Emergency Momase News Papua New Guinea

Labu Butu LLG slowly rebuilding their lives after M7.2 earthquake

By Sharlyne Eri – EMTV News, Lae   The community in the Labu Butu Local Level Government in Huon Gulf are slowly rebuilding their lives after they were struck by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Lae last week, which destroyed 140 houses. But what affected locals the most, was when the only source of access to clean water was populated with sea water. Cosla Salasi, a local woman in the area said the well serves the whole community which has a population of over three thousand five hundred people. “When the earthquake came, the water in the well shot out into the air and was replaced by salt water.” “This is the only source of clean water, so we have clean it,” Salasi said. It took almost a week for the community to pull out the salty water to restore the well to its normal state. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Mumeng LLG in Bulolo and was felt in some parts of Lae and the nation’s capital, Port Moresby last week, with no major damages, were reported. However, just like other affected areas, it left fear among the people living in the Labu Butu LLG. After the quake, many deserted the village. Labu Butu Ward Eight Councillor  Sam Yabong recalls seeing the sea pulled back for about ten to fifteen minutes after the earthquake. “When the children saw the sea pulled back, they fled up the Markham River.” “Others ran away into the bushes in fear of a tsunami,” he said. It’s been a week now, after the quake and people in this area are slowly rebuilding their lives. Councillor Sam says, so far, officers from the Disaster Office, as well as the Red Cross, have visited the area with some assistance.]]>

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