8 quake strikes Papua New Guinea coast

8 quake strikes Papua New Guinea coast

Communities have also been rattled by strong aftershocks, sparking fears among disenchanted and suspicious residents that the shaking was somehow caused by oil and gas operations in the area.

More than a hundred people in are feared to have been killed following the Papua New Guinea quake with a magnitude 7.5 and powerful aftershocks that struck the country's mountainous region.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the 18 fatalities were from the province of Hela north of the capital Port Moresby.

The 6.8 magnitude tremor was recorded nine days after a 7.5 magnitude quake jolted the country's southern highland province that left more than 100 people dead.

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Mr O'Neill said the government's immediate focus was the restoration of essential services and the delivery of food, water and shelter, but he said full recovery from the disaster would take several years.

Southern Highlands Governor William Powi said people were feeling traumatized from the disaster and the ongoing aftershocks.

He said he flew over major landslips on Wednesday that were not there after the initial quake.

Like many Pacific islands, Papua New Guinea is located along the so-called "Ring of Fire", which stretches in a horseshoe shape around the Pacific Ocean, and where most quakes and volcanic activities are recorded.

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