PNG earthquake

A major earthquake struck the PNG highlands on the 25th February.  The second joint (PNG Gov/UN) Situation Report (Sitrep # 2) of the 14th March indicated that around 545,000 people were affected across five provinces, with around 270,000 of these requiring some form of assistance.  This is a complex humanitarian situation, complicated by difficult terrain and logistical challenges.  The main logistical route between the Southern highlands (ie going through Mt Hagen) and Hela Province has now been opened, but secondary and minor roads/routes/tracks are still problematic in places. From a coordination perspective, Forward Operating Bases have been established in Mt Hagen and Moro; with Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) in Mendi and Tari.

This Sitrep # 2 indicates that the main humanitarian priorities are currently food security and livelihoods; WASH; health; shelter (including camp coordination & management); and protection.

Interested/involved stakeholders can draw down from the following three sources of information.

This includes their Briefing Note of the 1st March, and a useful PNG Preparedness document from 2012.

Humanitarian Response  –  This includes the latest joint Sitrep, as well as useful background assessments, maps & infographics.

Relief Web – This includes the latest joint Sitrep, as well as further useful maps and infographics (including useful WFP maps on both impacted areas, and logistical routes).

This earthquake is being used both as a case study in both the TorqAid online accredited Disaster Risk Management (DRM) program, as well as the Australian University Emergency Management unit (EMG 309 = Humanitarian Relief), for which Chris is Unit Chair. Follow the link below to the online DRM program.


The key initiatives carried out in the emergency response stage, together with those in the later recovery stage, are clearly delineated in the enclosed Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC), which is the first diagram mentioned in the article entitled ‘ a DRM diagrammatic framework’.