Earthquakes Ravage PNG Highlands

OTML Deputy CEO Musje Werror turns the spigot that will supply
fresh water to villagers isolated by recent earthquakes in PNG.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) faces a long road to recovery after a series of earthquakes and aftershocks struck the mountainous region already reeling from a 7.5-quake on February 26. Australia and New Zealand sent helicopters and planes to help deliver aid to the remote region, which has been isolated by landslides.

The initial earthquake forced Exxon- Mobil to shut down all of its gas facilities in the country, which it expected would be down for around eight weeks while it carried out inspections and repairs. Exxon’s PNG LNG plant exports more than 8 million metric tons (mt) of liquefied natural gas per year. The company said its facilities in the highlands, where it produces and processes gas, and the 700-km pipeline to the coast withstood the earthquake.

Ok Tedi Mining reported that a landslide occurred on a section of the Tabubil mine road in the Western Province. Employees who worked the night shift at the mine were relocated safely, with all employees accounted for. Water and concentrate pipelines were damaged. Maintenance work would begin once road access was restored and pipe could be transported to the location. Managing Director and CEO Peter Graham said no damages have been reported at the mill and mine or in Tabubil Township, however, the nearby Bultem village lost power and options for restoring power to the village were being evaluated.

OK Tedi Mining also delivered two water catchment tanks and a community hall to Tupensomi village located an hour by speedboat upstream of Kiunga in the North Fly District of Western Province. OTML Deputy CEO and General Manager of External Relations Musje Werror officially opened the project on March 12 in the presence of jubilant Tupensomi villagers and villagers from neighboring Drimgas village.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 04 -