MOUNT HAGEN, Papua New Guinea – Feb. 27, 2018 — Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has mobilized its disaster response team to provide assistance following a devastating earthquake in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Monday morning, Feb. 26, the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) experienced a 7.5 earthquake that caused many landslides and damaged roads, structures, power lines and communication systems. The ground continues to shake from powerful aftershocks.
Mission Aviation Fellowship and its associated ministry, Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship (CRMF), have been serving the people of PNG since the early 1950s from bases at Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Kawito, Kiunga (Rumginae), Madang, Tari, Wewak, and Telefomin/Tabubil. MAF operates flight services to remote and isolated communities, while CRMF provides radio communication, computing, solar lighting, digital audio bibles and other technology services.
Following the quake, MAF has received many requests for medical evacuation flights. MAF has also been doing fly-overs to check on remote communities, and on Tuesday, Feb. 28, carried PNG disaster officials on an extensive aerial survey.
While telephones are not working in many places, the CRMF’s radio network is still up and running and people can use it to call for medical assistance. The MAF/CRMF team is also passing along information about problems such as damaged air strips, road closures, and damage to clinics, schools and other important buildings.
MAF’s 150 staff in PNG are safe. Some MAF facilities and houses experienced minor damage, such as broken dishes and damage to water systems.
Mission Aviation Fellowship is a global family of organizations that uses aviation and technology to share the gospel and make life better for people in remote parts of the Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. In times of crisis, MAF’s disaster response team can mobilize quickly so that aid gets to those in need. Most recently, MAF has responded to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, and earthquakes that devastated Nepal in 2015.