Disaster resilience program extended in Papua New Guinea

The Australian Government will continue to help reduce the risk of earthquakes, volcanos and tsunamis in Papua New Guinea from today, with Australia’s Technical Disaster Risk Reduction program extended for another three years.

Additional funding to the program in Papua New Guinea was agreed in April and extends the work from 1 July 2020 through to June 2023.

Geoscience Australia Chief of Place, Space and Communities Division, Alison Rose, said the funding ensures Australia will keep delivering positive impacts for the Papua New Guinea community.

“This extension means Geoscience Australia can continue developing a dedicated geohazards website for Papua New Guinea and we’ll also be helping to expand the community-based seismic monitoring network,” Ms Rose said.

“Papua New Guinea is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards – it has over 75 volcanos, 42 of which are active and have a very high potential to erupt. It is also one of the most seismically complex regions in the world and averages over 100 earthquakes each year of magnitude five or greater.

“Australia has a strong working relationship with the Rabaul Volcano Observatory and Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory, and we look forward to continuing this productive partnership.”

Australia has been working with Papua New Guinea to strengthen their capacity to monitor and build resilience to natural hazards through the Australian Aid Program since 1995. The funding for the program will come from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Humanitarian Program.

“The Technical Disaster Risk Reduction program started in 2016 and aims to provide a single source of authoritative hazard information and data, real-time hazard alerting and educational materials for Papua New Guinea,” Ms Rose said.

“Geoscience Australia will also be helping to install over 10 new low-cost seismic stations across the country to strengthen the seismic network in community areas such as schools.

“These resources will provide essential information to make evidence-based decisions on the threat of hazards at a local, regional and national level.”

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