The Department of Works has begun clearing roads damaged by the earthquake.
Works Secretary, David Wereh, and Works Minister, Michael Nali, visited parts of Southern Highlands today to see machines clear debris and other obstacles blocking traffic.
Sections along the Nipa-Tari road were visited including the Mendi Kandep road.
Minister Nali said the damage is caused by natural disaster so no compensation will be claimed, however, reports of gardens and houses destroyed by the earthquake must be reported to District CEO’s office for assistance.
Nali said security personnel from the Police and PNG Defense Force will be monitoring the roads so work is not interrupted. He said with some areas badly damaged, financing will be provided for the restoration of services, especially roads.
Minister Nali said road is a priority because most relief supply will be transported from Hagen into Mendi and Hela.
Works Secretary David Wereh said contractors engaged in current road maintenance and upgrade will be tasked to help the Department fix the roads.
Wereh added that the mobilization of machines is underway and 80% of affected roads will be cleared to allow normal traffic.
Minister Nali also urged locals to assist his men so roads can be cleared. The Secretary and Minister will be Hela to assess the condition of roads.
Meanwhile, they have urged the travelling public to be cautious when travelling along the highway.
In the Upper Mendi area, road contractors have started assisting the Works Department to clear landslips caused by the earthquake.