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More than 2 000 buried in massive landslide, Papua New Guinea government reports

Massive landslide devastates Papua New Guinea village may 24 2024

A massive landslide in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province on May 24, 2024, buried over 2 000 people, according to government reports released today.

In a letter to the United Nations resident coordinator, the acting director of the National Disaster Center, Luseta Laso Mana, stated that the landslide buried over 2 000 people and caused major destruction at Yambali village in Enga province on Friday, May 24, 2024.

The disaster occurred at approximately 03:00 local time in a remote area about 600 km (370 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby.

The landslide also buried a 200-meter (650-foot) stretch of the province’s main highway under debris 6 to 8 m (20 to 26 feet) deep, creating a major obstacle for relief efforts.

The updated casualty figure, released on May 27, is significantly higher than the United Nations’ earlier estimate of 670 fatalities. So far, the remains of only six individuals have been recovered.

Mana indicated that the landslide would have a significant economic impact on the country.

The situation remains unstable due to shifting ground, posing ongoing dangers to rescue teams and survivors.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is collaborating closely with the government, has maintained its earlier estimate of 670 deaths, pending new evidence, AP reported on May 27. This estimate was based on calculations by local officials that more than 150 homes had been buried. This was a significant increase from an earlier estimate of 60 homes.

“We are not able to dispute what the government suggests but we are not able to comment on it,” said Serhan Aktoprak, the chief of the U.N. migrant agency’s mission in Papua New Guinea.

The scale of the disaster is difficult to determine due to the village’s remote location, a lack of telecommunications, and ongoing tribal warfare in the province, which means the government had to provide military escorts for international relief workers and aid convoys.

References:

1 Papua New Guinea says Friday’s landslide buried more than 2,000 people and formally asks for help – AP – May 27, 2024

2 Massive landslide devastates Papua New Guinea village, killing over 100 – The Watchers – May 24, 2024

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