Figures are emerging hours after a massive earthquake struck an area 96 km south-west of Mendi in the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. 

Latest report says there are fears that 30 persons may have died as a result of the massive 7.5-magnitude earthquake.

Full details are still unclear, but local newspaper, PNG Post Courier, reported that 13 people were killed in the city of Mendi, while 18 more died in the nearby areas of Kutubu and Bosave.

Sources also said that around 300 people were injured during the 35km deep tremor.

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“The scale of damage, from information we are getting from the ground, is quite extensive, it’s going to be a massive recovery exercise,’’ Hela governor, Philip Undialu, told local media.

Ripped Apart Or Sunk

At least 50,000 residents are around Mendi, but the situation has been made worse by poor communication network,a phone lines appeared to be down, with numerous sinkholes and aftershocks still continuing to rock the area.

“Our police station, courthouse, hospital, even private houses have been ripped apart or sunk into the ground,’’ Undialu said.

One local website Papua New Guinea Today, has even posted that no fewer than 10 people, including four children, were killed in quake-triggered landslides.

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“We could feel the house and the earth shaking.

“We wanted to run for the door and out of the house, but it was too late, the ground might open up and swallow us,’’ resident Agnes Kep told local media. 

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