Earthquake Response

MAF is currently involved in coordinated effort with other groups to provide earthquake relief and medical evacuations.

More aid needed in remote villages

2018 03 07 DR operations.Mt Hagen Base.NawiMabo. P1120249 web

Luke Newell flew in his Cessna 208 (Caravan) out from Mt. Hagen to Muluma and Bosavi. He carried out rice and water to the communities around Bosavi airstrip, plus a carepack with soap, hygiene items and pots and plates to Muluma, home to around 4,000 people. At the moment, many surrounding communities are leaving their houses and come to the airstrip to seek relief goods. Everybody is scared because their houses are falling over during different aftershocks. Even gardens are shaken up and being disturbed. A few houses were destroyed and shaken up due to last night’s aftershock (6.3. – 6.7 on Richter scale).

The pilot, Luke Newell, gave his bulked relief items to the MAF on ground agent. They then distributed it themselves. Luke reports: “I saw that at least two people were bruised, a man talking to me had a scar on his right cheek. Tony I believe was his name. He said he wanted to run outside, but he could not run out as the floor was shaking heavily and the steps might have fallen off. He must have fallen onto a nail or something spiky that tore a wound in his right cheek. It looked quite deep, so I got the first aid packet out of the plane and gave him an antiseptic cream to at least keep the wound clean.”

There were reports of other injuries, but we are yet to see these people coming to seek help. Many of the surrounding communities run to where the ground is flatter, and that is where the airstrip is located. They come from around a 30 minute walk for their own safety, but also they hope to receive some relieve goods such as tarpaulins, water or rice. Luke sees their needs: “I feel sorry for them, I just would like to help. I see not only the houses that have collapsed and the injuries many need assistance for, but also the gardens that are breaking up and their food for tomorrow becomes uncertain.”

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