Papua New Guinea quake death toll at 55 as aftershock hits

Lori Dengler: Papua New Guinea, shaking and landslides

Papua New Guinea begins quake recovery

A magnitude 6.8 aftershock has killed at least 18 people in Papua New Guinea, bringing the total number of deaths to more than 100 since a powerful natural disaster struck the southwestern Pacific island state in late February.

Damage caused by an quake in Papua New Guinea is seen in this handout image released March 7, 2018.

The major temblor which struck the country's Southern Highlands region on February 25 left more than 30 people dead, with aid agencies reporting about 150,000 other victims in urgent need of emergency supplies.

The aftershock was one of the six strong quakes that hit the country since midnight on Wednesday, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. Updates from the US Geological Survey has the quake at 6.8 magnitude.

That quake left at least 55 people dead and authorities feared the toll could exceed 100, with further aftershocks striking the country.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol personally conveyed the President's condolences to Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, according to the DFA.

Southern Highlands Governor William Powi said people were feeling traumatized from the disaster and the ongoing aftershocks. "There will be no quick fix", he said. "Most of the feeder roads are washed away or covered with landslips".

The quakes caused buildings to collapse as well as landslides.

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