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Mendi Nursing College hit hard by natural disaster

02 March 2018

ExxonMobil Corp has shut its liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in the wake of a powerful quake in Papua New Guinea's remote highlands region that cut roads and damaged buildings, with unconfirmed reports of 20 or more deaths.

Australian natural gas company Santos confirmed Tuesday that gas production at the PNG LNG Hides plant and the Kutubu gas facilities has been safely shut down as a precautionary measure, following a major quake and a series of aftershocks in the Papua New Guinea highlands.

The Papua New Guinea LNG facility was shut following an quake that struck in the country's highlands earlier Monday, project stakeholder Oil Search said.

The company said it had also suspended flights from Komo airfield, which it built to service its operations, and was planning to evacuate nonessential plant staff.

The quake was followed by several aftershocks into Tuesday morning.

The government has dispatched disaster management teams amid unconfirmed reports that 10 people were killed by the tremor.

Separately, Barrick Gold Corp. said its Porgera mine is secure and no injuries were reported.

Its partner, Oil Search Ltd, said a review of all of its facilities and infrastructure would take at least a week, and an industry source told Reuters that the Exxon plant will likely be shut at least seven days.

A call to Papua New Guinea LNG's office in the capital of Port Moresby was answered by a message saying to call back during business hours.

"We need massive assistance", Powi said.

Electricity from the power station is mainly used by the processing plant at Porgera.

Some 300 people were injured, it added, and properties damaged, with reports of landslides and sinkholes.

"There has been a significant landslide and the road is cut off".

Earthquakes are common in the country, which sits on the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean.

Two people died in this powerful quake, which devastated more than 40 houses and many hospitals.

Mendi Nursing College hit hard by natural disaster