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HomeWorldPapua New Guinea landslide buries 2,000, hampers rescue

Papua New Guinea landslide buries 2,000, hampers rescue

  • Landslide in PNG buries over 2,000, hampers rescue
  • Kaokalam village destroyed, 4,000 affected by disaster
  • Difficult terrain, debris hinder relief efforts, access by helicopter

The landslide completely destroyed the mountainous Kaokalam village in Enga Province, and a humanitarian organisation has estimated that over 4,000 individuals were likely affected by the calamity.

According to the disaster agency of Papua New Guinea, over 2,000 individuals were submerged in a major landslide in the northern region of the country.

The landslide demolished the mountainous Kaokalam village in Enga Province, located approximately 370 miles (600 km) northwest of Port Moresby’s capital.

The Pacific nation was struck at approximately 3 a.m. local time on Friday (6 p.m. UK time on Thursday), and the United Nations had previously estimated that 670 individuals had perished at that time. Initially, the number of deceased individuals was estimated to be 100 or more by local officials.

According to the national disaster center, a landslide in Papua New Guinea has resulted in the burial of over 2,000 individuals.

In a letter to the United Nations, an official from the national disaster centre stated that the landslide ensnared over 2,000 individuals, devasted buildings and food gardens, and had a significant impact on the country’s economic lifeline.

Serhan Aktoprak, the director of the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration mission on the island nation, previously stated that the figure of 670 deaths was derived from local officials’ calculations that more than 150 homes had been buried. The previous estimate was 60 residences.

“They are estimating that more than 670 people [are] under the soil at the moment,” according to him.

According to the humanitarian organization CARE Australia, the catastrophe is expected to have affected over 4,000 individuals.

It stated that the region was “a haven for those who conflict in the vicinity have displaced.”

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, the landslide in the Mulitaka region of the province affected approximately six villages.

Three bodies were recovered from a location where 50 to 60 homes were destroyed. According to the United Nations ‘ Papua New Guinea office, six individuals, including a child, were rescued from the debris.

However, the likelihood of discovering additional survivors was dwindling.

The landslide disrupted road access and left detritus up to eight meters deep across 200 square kilometers (77 square miles), making it difficult for relief efforts to proceed. The sole method of accessing the region was by helicopter.

A first emergency convoy delivered food, water, and other provisions on Saturday while survivors manually searched through tonnes of earth and debris in search of missing relatives.

Nevertheless, Mr. Aktoprak stated, “The likelihood of extracting individuals alive from the rubble has decreased.”

In February, an ambush occurred in Enga Province that resulted in the deaths of at least 26 individuals due to tribal violence. This incident prompted Prime Minister James Marape to grant the military arrest powers.

According to Mr. Marape, the defense force, the Department of Works and Transportation, and disaster officials supported the relief and recovery efforts.

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Papua New Guinea is a developing nation with an approximate population of 10 million, primarily subsistence cultivators, and 800 languages. Outside of the larger communities, there are few roads.

It is situated on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea. It is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of seismic disturbances surrounding the Pacific Ocean. This region is the site of significant global earthquakes and volcanic activity.

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the nation in March.

China is also pursuing closer security and economic ties with the strategically significant nation, while the United States and Australia are forging stronger defense ties.

US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declared that their governments were prepared to assist in the aftermath of the landslide.

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