Papua New Guinea: landslide hits six villages

Papua New Guinea: landslide hits six villages
Papua New Guinea: landslide hits six villages

A landslide devastates “more than six villages”

Published today at 8:51 a.m.

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A major landslide has affected “more than six villages” located in a mountainous region of Papua New Guinea, local authorities said on Friday.

The governor of Enga province (center) Peter Ipatas indicated that “more than six villages” had been hit, calling the disaster an “unprecedented natural disaster” having caused “considerable damage”.

He indicated that this landslide had caused “human losses and material damage”, but did not provide an immediate assessment.

The disaster which occurred around 3:00 a.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT Thursday) particularly struck the village of Kaokalam. “It appears that more than 100 houses were buried. We do not yet know how many people were in these houses,” Vincent Pyati, president of a local association, told AFP.

According to an AFP photographer on site, a mixture of rocks and earth broke away from a hill with dense vegetation, and debris from sheet metal shelters littered the ground.

Dozens of people immediately set to work to find possible survivors buried under piles of stones and earth. Equipped with headlamps, machetes and axes, they cleared the scree. Humanitarian organizations, including the Papua New Guinea Red Cross, said they had been alerted to the disaster.

Located south of the equator, the region frequently experiences heavy rains. This year it was affected by significant rainfall and flooding episodes. At least 23 people died in a landslide in March in a province bordering Enga.


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