The National Disaster Centre (NDC) is in the process to send a National Assessment Standby Team into the East Sepik province to assess the damages caused by the massive earthquake that hit the province on Monday 3rd of April.
NDC Director, Colonel Carl Wrakonei, said that the team will comprise of engineers and medical personnel from the Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF), officers from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory and other support staff.
The team will be supported by the PNGDF helicopters to conduct the assessments on ground.
However, the team is on standby awaiting a full report from the East Sepik Provincial Disaster Office on the damages on ground and the assistance needed, which is proving to be a difficulty now because the provincial team has not been sending a report or reports over to the disaster center updating them on what is happening.
“We waited for them to send in a report, but they have not done so yet. It’s getting too long now, and we don’t have a full report of what’s going on there.”
The director also said that the provincial office team has not been answering his calls since yesterday.
If a full report doesn’t come in sooner, the Col. said they will go ahead with the deployment of the assessment team.
He further added that the team will be standing by to move once the NDC gives the approval go ahead.
The engineering team will check the main infrastructures like roads and bridges, while the medical team will be attending to the casualties.
The Observatory team will be carrying out awareness in the affected communities on such disasters and to also calm the people down as there is still anxiety in the air following the massive earthquake.
Col. Wrakonei said the NDC will make an announcement soon on the date in which the National Assessment Standby Team will be going to East Sepik, once the approval is given.
Caption: Assessment team on standby to deploy to earthquake ravaged East Sepik