PNG Power suffered substantial damage to key infrastructure in the Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces as a result of last week’s earthquake, Acting Managing Director Carolyn Blacklock confirms this in a press statement today (March, 6).
According to the statement, vital power supply infrastructure in the three townships of Mendi, Ialibu and Tari were damaged cutting off power supply.
“Damage in Mendi is extensive to distribution and supply lines but thankfully generators and the line into the Ramu Grid remain intact.”
Whilst the statement confirms a truck loaded with power supply infrastructure for distribution lines restoration left Yonki bound for Tari this morning (March 6), it also mention that work on restoring power in and around Mendi and Tari will continue for a number of weeks.
Ms Blacklock affirms PNG Power is cooperating fully with the emergency response teams to fast track the power supply to essential services such as the hospital in Tari and thanks the Australian Government for their support in this restoration work.
“I want to thank the PNG Power team on the ground in Tari, Mendi, Mt Hagen and Ialibu who have since a few minutes after the destruction of the first earthquake, been assessing and now, rapidly moving in to restore power.
They have been inspirational in their proactivity doing what they can with what they have and mobilizing resources. All of this when their own homes and families are impacted. We have our problems at PNG Power but it is clear to me that when we combine our technical know-how with our big hearts we can move mountains,” Ms. Blacklock said.
PNG Power teams have been on the ground immediately following the earthquake assessing damage and urgently arranging restoration works.
Ialibu has been restored to approximately 95% and teams have now mobilised into Mendi.