Death toll from Feb. 26 Papua New Guinea quake rises to 125

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Papua New Guinea police say an earthquake last month killed at least 125 people and forced another 35,000 from their homes.

The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary said Wednesday that major relief efforts are underway in the central region where the magnitude 7.5 quake struck on Feb. 26. The official death toll rose from 55 last week and police said it could rise further.

The region is remote and undeveloped, and assessments about the scale of the damage and injuries have been slow to filter out. Strong aftershocks have continued to rattle the area.

Police said 80 people were killed in the Hela province and another 45 in the Southern Highlands province. They said those forced from their homes had been staying in care centers set up across the region.