Five days after returning from my time in the US to say goodbye to my brother @curtlandreth and spend time supporting my family after his loss, we experienced the most severe earthquake PNG has had at 7.6 on the richter scale. We woke around 3:42am to the bed shaking and soon realized the whole house was shaking severely. We thought we would ride it out and stayed in bed for a few more seconds. When we realized it was not ending and the shaking actually intensified, Todd suggested we get out of the house as it is on stilts and perhaps not built to withstand such a force. I grabbed my cell phone and torch (flashlight for you Americans) put on my robe and headed for the door. Todd was trying to get the keys into the locks while swaying with the quake as it continued to roll. One door open, then working on the metal security door, finally getting that open as well and we were outside! We quickly went down the stairs and away from the house as the earth continued to shake. It slowly started to quiet down and our pulse rates with it.
Todd headed to the other compounds to check on staff, and called others. Thankfully we were able to get back to sleep as the power was now out and so an early morning in the office was not going to be very productive, and with that severe of a shake, the possibility of fissures in the road was likely and so traveling in the daylight was deemed to be much more prudent.
The aftershocks continued and were at a level of 4.0-6.0 and are still occurring three days later as I write this update.
Tuesday morning I was briefed on the need for photos of the area and so Mandy Glass who is the Comms Officer for our Base and I climbed into a Caravan with her husband Mathias flying along with Luke Newell and three Government Disaster Response Team members.
The photos were sent to MAF I Disaster Response and Security to review and issue a press release. You can see that below, along with a link and directions on how to view the images on a google map so that you can see the exact location where the picture was taken.
Please keep PNG in your prayers! Pray for safety as our pilots continue to do med-evac flights and for those on the ground helping people dig out from the numerous land slides. Pray that MAF will continue to see isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in the name of Jesus as we work with different agencies and organizations in the response to this disaster.