QUAKE WARNING SYSTEM NEEDED IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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By Sampson Bonai

LAE, Papua New Guinea (April 13, 1999 - The National)---The people of Morobe should not have to live in fear of earthquakes and tremors, says the Coordinator of Economic Services in the Morobe provincial administration, Tony Bego.

"I had to spend a night with my family with the doors of our house opened, just in case we needed to escape fast should anything happen," said Mr. Bego, referring to the earth tremor which shook the city last Tuesday night, causing panic among the residents.

''We did not have to do that. I call on the government to install proper volcanic monitoring equipment within our region and have it manned 24 hours a day so the people can be warned in advance of any dangers," he said.

Mr. Bego warned that without a proper warning system, many people would lose their lives and property if a stronger tremor or quake struck.

Hundreds of city residents fled their homes on Tuesday night to higher ground for fear of another tidal wave.

Last year, a tsunami in the Aitape area killed over 2,000 persons.

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