A large earthquake in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province has left more than 30 people dead and over 300 injured, according to reports from the region. The main 7.5 magnitude tremor struck 56 miles (90 km) south of Porgera; and there have been two strong aftershocks. Reports say that 18 people were killed in Kutubu and Bosave, while 13 dies in Mendi, the capital of the Southern Highlands. The quake has caused landslides and sinkholes in the region, and phone lines have been cut.
Bishop Andrew Hedge of the Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia’s (ANZP) diocese of Waiapu, has been developing links with the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea. The two Archbishops and Primates of the Church of ANZP, say that they are “still waiting for details and advice as to how we might best respond” to the disaster. In an email to the bishops of the province, Archbishops Winston Halapua and Philip Richardson say: “Our Missions Board team are helping with the assessment and will contribute to a coordinated response as appropriate.”
In the meantime, they are asking Anglicans to pray for the people of Papua New Guinea. The two archbishops have circulated a prayer written by Bishop Andrew Hedge:
God of all creation,
We lift up before you the nation of Papua New Guinea
and especially the people of the Highlands Province
as they recover from earthquakes and landslides.
We mourn with them for those who have died,
we pray for the healing of those who are injured,
for strength and courage for all those
who work to provide safe shelter, to bring aid and recovery.
We pray for Bishop Nathan, Archbishop Allan
and all who provide leadership to these communities in this time of need.
May your strength, wisdom and hope rest upon them and all they serve.
We pray for the whole Anglican Church of PNG,
for the people of Mendi and the communities throughout the Highlands,
that they may know the presence of your compassionate
and life-giving Spirit, that they may work together
for the good of all people.
Through Christ our Lord we pray,