Category Archives: Natural Disaster

Provinces To Review Existing Disaster Management Systems

Imelda Wavik

​Participating provinces involved in the ‘Strengthening Disaster Risk Management in Papua New Guinea’ program will be assessing the existing Disaster Management (DRM) capacities.

This assessment will be to identify strengths, weakness, gaps and opportunities.

The assessment information will then be used to produce Capacity Development Plans for each province to assist in the use of available resources and focus on the areas where there are capacity challenges.

Each province involved will initiate development of their draft Disaster Management Plan, Standard Operating Procedures and a DRM Capacity Assessment.

There will also be follow up tasks that will be captured in an Action Plan, highlighting immediate, medium and long term priority matters to be addressed.

If this approach is successful in these pilot provinces, there is a potential to eventually expand the project to other regions in the country, in order to support other provinces improve their disaster management systems.


No help! No Vote!


More than 5000 villagersin Anglimp-South Waghi, Jiwaka, vow to boycott the National Election over the Government’s lack of response to their cry for help

Severe storms and flash floods have become an election issue in the Anglimp-South Waghi District of Jiwaka Province.

More than 5000 people near the raging Tuman River vowed last Friday to boycott the 2017 National Election because of the lack of action by the National Government to address their call for help since 2013.

jiwaka SDA church

The flood victims at Bunum village near Kindeng Market vowed not to take part in the election as they were hit once more by wild weather and an untamed river, a tributary of Waghi River.

Further north, in North Waghi, their neighbours are still battling to come to terms with the detection of the destructive coffee berry borer (CBB( in at least 10 locations near Banz (see story, page 4).

Bunum village community leader Mark Malt said they had been waiting in vain for Government assistance for five years since the Tuman River changed it’s course and ran through their village, destroying their homes, properties, food gardens and domestic animals.

Mr Malt said fortunately, no lives were lost but the people deserted their village en masse and took refuge with other neighbouring tribes because the river had become a serious threat.

Heavy rain that had already fallen in Jiwaka Province has seen thousands of people cut off, and evacuation made by the people themselves to higher grounds.

In the latest floods, the unpredictable Tuman River washed away 300 metres of the Kindeng-Kondopina Highway, completely cutting off access with more than 50,000 people of Dei district, Western Highlands Province, and North Waghi who depend on this road.

Mr Malt said that their lives have been affected for more than four years and remained unchanged because of the lack of Government intervention.

He said the villagers have raised the issue with authorities in the province but their concerns have fallen on deaf ears.

“We were crying for help but nobody is helping us, thus we will not take part in the National Election because it has no meaning to us.

“It is just a plain waste of time to vote for any leader because we do not feel wanted by our parliamentarians in the province,” he added.

The National Weather Service had warned that nationwide storms with heavy rainfall and rough seas are expected to continue this month.

Mr Malt said that villagers would appreciate that in times of rain authorities issue flood warnings for rivers, including Tuman, and evacuation orders issued coupled with the complementing relief supplies.

National Weather office unable to send out alert


EARTHQUAKE and tsunami warnings were unable to be dispensed by the PNG National Weather Service after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre confirmed the natural hazards.

The National Weather Service assistant director, forecasting and warning centre, Jimmy Gomoga said the office was incapable of issuing any threat as there was no severe signal on its system since yesterday.

“We were aware that there was a tsunami threat issued yesterday afternoon by the US Geological Survey after a major magnitude of 8.0 earthquake struck West Panguna in Bougainville, however, our system cannot monitor earthquakes and tsunamis,” he said.

Mr Gomoga said Papua New Guinea receives earthquakes and tsunami warning from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in the United States.


Assistant director at PNG’s Geophysical Observatory Office in Port Moresby Chris McKee said the greatest tsunami threat had been to Bougainville and that threat had passed without any report of a tsunami.

“I suspect that because of the great depth of the earthquake, there was probably no significant tsunami,” Mr McKee said.

However, according to a report, Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre warned that waves of between 0.3 and one metre (1-3 feet) above tide level were possible for some coastal areas of PNG and the neighbouring Solomon Islands.

“Even though it is quite deep at 150 kilometres, because it is such a large earthquake, it will produce shaking on the surface,” Geoscience Australia seismologist Spiro Spiliopoulos told AFP.

Earthquakes are common near Papua New Guinea, which lies on the 4000-kilometre-long Pacific Australia plate.

It forms part of the “Ring of Fire”, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

The Bureau of Meteorology also confirmed that there was no tsunami threat to Australia.