At least 18 people were killed after a new earthquake of magnitude 6.7 struck Papua New Guinea`s mountainous Southern Highlands on early Wednesday. Many more were injured. Shortly after midnight local time on Wednesday, the tremor struck just 31 km (19 miles) southwest of the epicentre of a magnitude 7.5 quake that occurred nine days ago.
The provincial administrator of Hela William Bando said, "I have just received reports that 18 people were killed last night," After a magnitude 7.5 quake crushed villages and caused landslides last Monday, this was the highest magnitude earthquake in the country. The tremor on February 26 killed 55 people.
The rescue work is being interrupted due to the damages of the communication system caused by the earthquake. For this reason, the authorities are facing the problems of determining how many people are in need of assistance. But it is believed that the number could be more than one and a half lac.