At least 25 killed in Papua New Guinea earthquake aftershocks

At least 25 people have been killed in a powerful 6.7-magnitude aftershock that struck the remote highlands of earthquake-rattled Papua New Guinea.

The fatalities raise PNG's total death toll to more than 100 since last week's quake.

The tremor was the most severe in a series over 100 aftershocks in recent days.

It struck overnight close to the epicentre of last week's magnitude-7.5 quake in the border region of Hela and Southern Highland provinces, 600km from the capital Port Moresby.

"At least 18 people were killed in Como district and two were killed in another district in the overnight earthquake," William Bando, Hela Province administrator, told dpa on Wednesday.

In neighbouring Southern Highlands, five people were killed.

"Unfortunately, in Lalibu district, a building fell and we lost five lives," Thomas Eluh, an administrator of Southern Highlands Province, told dpa.

The devastating quake on February 26 destroyed buildings, flattened several villages, caused massive landslides, severed communications and damaged many roads. Power is still out in most quake-hit regions.

Bando said more than 100 people have been killed so far. Until Tuesday, PNG's disaster management authorities put the death toll between 67 and 75.

"Relief efforts have been extremely slow and hard due to the damaged roads and communication difficulties," said Udaya Regmi, the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in PNG.

"The villagers need health support right now as most health centres have been damaged," he told dpa.

The Red Cross said its initial assessments indicate that as many as 143,000 people could have been affected, with an estimated 500 people injured and 17,000 people displaced from their homes. Even in more accessible areas of PNG, health facilities have been damaged.

More quake aid from NZ for PNG

New Zealand is sending a second C-130 Hercules over,  carrying emergency supplies for victims.

The New Zealand Defence Force will fly an additional 10 tonnes of aid on Thursday, which will include 800 tarpaulins, 500 family hygiene kits and 300 mother and infant kits.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major-General Tim Gall says the distribution of relief supplies has been hampered by the extensive damage to roads and airports, as well as the remoteness of the hard-hit areas.

"We are continuing to provide airlift support to help the Papua New Guinea Government address this bottleneck," Major-General Gall said.

"We have been working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and we remain ready to provide further assistance if required."

An RNZAF C-130 aircraft that delivered about eight tonnes of aid on Monday has been helping fly food, water and medical supplies from Port Moresby to Moro Airport in the Southern Highlands.

Reuters