M6.8 quake strikes off the coast of Papua New Guinea

Handout via REUTERS

Handout via REUTERS

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

More than a hundred people in are feared to have been killed following the Papua New Guinea natural disaster with a magnitude 7.5 and powerful aftershocks that struck the country's mountainous region.

DPA news agency also reported seven more deaths in two separate districts.

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The natural disaster comes nearly two weeks after Papua New Guinea experienced a large, magnitude 7.5 quake, with the country's Southern Highland and Hela provinces most heavily affected.

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

So far, the United Nations has released $1.4m in aid to the victims, covering medical services and emergency shelters.

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"We are yet to fly one bale of rice to one particular location; we're yet to take medication, water".

It destroyed buildings, flattened several villages, caused massive landslides, severed communications and damaged many roads. "Tragically, the Highlands Earthquake has already claimed the lives of an estimated more than 100 Papua New Guineans, with many more still missing and thousands of people injured", O'Neill said in comments published by his office.

PNG sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a hotspot for seismic activity.

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