A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Papua New Guinea’s mountainous Southern Highlands on Wednesday killing at least 18 people, an official said, a week after a larger quake flattened villages and killed at least 55 people.
The tremor, shortly after midnight local time, struck just 31 km (19 miles) southwest of the epicentre of last Monday’s magnitude 7.5 quake that has left government and aid agencies scrambling to provide emergency supplies to the remote region.
Australia and New Zealand said on Wednesday they would increase aid to Papua New Guinea.
Australia will deploy three helicopters this week to deliver aid, while New Zealand will send a second military plane to distribute medical equipment, hygiene kits and tarpaulins.
Wednesday’s quake was the most severe of a series of aftershocks that have rattled the resource-rich region, about 600 km (370 miles) northwest of the capital Port Moresby.