Papua New Guinea’s East Sepik Provincial Administration has declared a state of emergency, effective Monday, until further notice.

Mother nature in the last few days had caused flooding and destruction in Middle-Sepik and on Sunday an earthquake with a magnitude 6.9 hit the province according to the United States Geological Survey.

Samson Torovi, Chairman of the Provincial Disaster Committee and Provincial Administrator in a notice declared a state of emergency in the province.

“The declaration authorizes the mobilization of all available resources, state and locally to provide the necessary assistance in the response, recovery, and mitigation of the said emergencies. It also calls for the activation of the Provincial Disaster Emergency Plan.

Meanwhile, East Sepik Provincial Member Alan Bird said that “like all Papua New Guineans, Sepiks are resilient people and we will face whatever challenges that befall us and we will rebuild.”

He further said most parts of the province have been affected.

“So far around 1,000 homes have been lost. We are still assessing the impact and are collecting reports as I write this so the final count could be much higher.

“Samaritan Aviation and the Provincial Health Authority are dealing with the injured and sadly we have several casualties already,” He made this comments on Sunday.

Bird said the province will not wait for assistance from Waigani because it will take time for help to arrive.

“We can’t afford to wait on anyone else to help us because many parts of the country are also facing flood damage at the same time as we are.

“If we wait for help from other entities and help doesn’t arrive, ESPG will be heavily criticised by our own people and rightly so.

“We are all aware that the national government still has not assisted businesses affected by the riots of January 10th so we can’t afford to wait behind the queue.

“I recall last year when West New Britain was affected by a volcanic eruption and subsequent flooding as well. They requested funds from the national government which didn’t arrive until months later.

“ESPG can’t afford to make the same mistakes. My province has enough funds already available and hence we have deployed emergency health care to be shortly followed by relief efforts this week,” Bird said.