Papua New Guinea

~ The geography inquiry ~


First Idea:

How does the amount of earthquakes and their damage affect Papua New Guinea?

- effects such as: population, vegetation, industry, tourism, change over time(future decisions)


- look at the question making Q-chart, re-word question

- pick two/three specific things to look at

Revised Question:

How might the amount of natural disasters and their damage affect Papua New Guinea?

- effects such as: population, economics and infrastructure

Data Collection:

General Information
  • capital: Port Moresby
  • north of Australia
  • land area = 462,840 sq km
  • second largest island in the world
  • population = 4 million
  • between Australia + deep ocean basin of pacific
  • surrounded by mountains, nations highest peak
  • rugged land forms
  • tropical location
  • located in the ring of fire
  • prone to hazards + disasters

Infrastructure Information:

  • cyclone season leads to heavy rainfall
  • causes landslides + floods
  • affects: homes, food gardens, water sources + infrastructure in other provinces
  • 35,000 people affected
  • has limited infrastructure(IFS)
  • roads + other IFS deteriorate very fast
  • has 19,600km of road, only 686km is paved
  • 492 airports, only 19 have paved runways
  • roads = poorly maintained, provide unreliable, infrequent transportation services

Government + Population Info:

  • associations monitor activities of volcanoes, earthquakes etc...
  • when volcano erupted in 2004, 10,000 people were evacuated
  • trade + transportation get severely disrupted
  • rising sea levels confirming that some islands are threatened - communities will have to be relocated.
  • in first half of 2013, >100,000 people were affected by disasters
  • > 600 people being temporarily displaced
  • indirect economic costs caused by interruptions to supply of goods + services

More Info:

  • known for beaches, coral reefs + scuba diving
  • country = very diverse, culturally and biologically
  • multiple active volcanoes (Mt. Wilhelm)
  • dense rain forests + agriculture villages
  • at times damaged homes, schools roads etc. take years to repair
  • because of location Papua New Guinea (PNG) experiences extreme weather patterns (develops storms etc.)
  • some of its worst natural disasters:

    • Rabaul volcanic eruptions 1994

    • Aitape tsunami 1998

Graph Ideas:

  • double bar graph
  • double line graph
  • bar graph

Final Decision:

Bar Graph

- shows relation ship between 2 different things; # of natural disasters and # of people affected

Graph Data:

Contacting an Expert:

P.O Box 3421 Boroko, NCD
Ph: +675 301 3964
Fax: +675 301 3982

Questions to ask:

  • how early do you try to inform people about the disasters coming?
  • do you have any future plans that will help in better informing Papua New Guinea citizens about what is coming, knowing the number of lives lost during past natural disasters

Paragraph to Send:
Dear Martin Mose,

I am a grade 7 student and have recently started an inquiry in geography concerning natural disasters. The country which I decided to focus on was Papua New Guinea. Data that I have recently collected about the country has helped me understand it's natural disaster patterns and the how its government, population and infrastructure get affected. While collecting data I came across a piece of information that completely shocked me, "in only the first half of 2013 more than 100,000 people were affected by natural disasters". Knowing that the PNG Natural Disasters centers objective is to inform communities in order to better prepare for disasters in the future, I was wondering if there are any future plans that will help in effectively informing citizens earlier, taking in consideration of the number of lives affected in only the first half of 2013. Another question I was hoping for you to answer; what are some different types of technologies or strategies that help you fulfill the needs of citizens? Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope to hear back from you soon!


Overall, after looking through my data it was very clear to me that Papua New Guinea(PNG) is a disaster prone area as it is located in the ring of fire and it still has multiple active volcanoes (such as Mt. Wilhelm). Most natural disasters are caused by events that occur in nature. These disasters have a huge impact, no matter where they occur. Earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis etc. have all occurred at least once in PNG and they not only affect the economical state of the the country but also the infrastructure, population and government. The disasters cause an interruption in the country's supply of goods and services, which then cause indirect economic costs these later on become a load on the government. Due to these frequent hazards, PNG is still working its way into becoming a fully developed country. With poor infrastructure, the country is not yet in a stable state. I believe that even if a natural disaster is occurring in only Papua New Guinea countries around the world get affected. One of the affects include a gain in population (when residents of PNG have to be evacuated). However, there are many organizations that work around the clock to make sure that the impact of natural disasters don't damage too much (PNG Natural Disasters Center). Thanks to their hard work, lives of millions of people have been saved.