MASSIVE quake measuring 6.0 hits Papua New Guinea

Exxon Mobil Corp. shut its liquefied natural gas export plant in Papua New Guinea after an quake in the Pacific nation's remote highlands cut supplies from the company's upstream fields.

COMMUNICATION blackouts and blocked roads were hampering rescue efforts today as Papua New Guinea worked to get a better grasp of the damage wrought by a massive natural disaster amid fears of its economic impact.

By September 2017, more than three years after exports started, royalties received by the government totaled 150 million kina, the World Bank said.

"As a precaution, ExxonMobil PNG Limited has shut its Hides gas conditioning plant to assess any damages to its facilities", the management said.

"These are the key resources that PNG depends on", he said.

Oil Search, which owns a 29 percent stake in the PNG LNG venture, said in a filing Tuesday that it would take at least a week to conduct a review of its wells, gathering systems, production facilities and other infrastructure.

"We have had no indications that the PNG LNG pipeline has sustained damage and will be undertaking a full visual inspection of the pipeline right of way as part of our ongoing assessments", ExxonMobil's PNG spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters. Reports also indicated the houses in the town had sunk into the ground.

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Aid agencies said they were ready to help but were awaiting more information.

Rova confirmed 11 deaths in the Southern Highlands region and five in Hela province.

Elsewhere rivers had silted up or become blocked, villages damaged and gardens and water tanks destroyed, though the biggest landslides hit sparsely populated areas, according to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), an air transport operator that flew a three-hour survey on Tuesday.

The gas to electricity that powers Porgera gold mine is also said to be affected while the Ok Tedi mine has also reported to have been affected.

Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari said the National Government has dispatched disaster assessment teams to parts of Southern Highlands and Hela following the quake.

The director of the National Disaster Centre, Martin Mose, said the impact was obvious.

Papua New Guinea is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, to the east of Indonesia.

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