Monday, June 17, 2024

Papua New Guinea faces catastrophic landslide with numerous casualties predicted

Massive landslide strikes Papua New Guinea’s highlands, leaving scores feared dead in six villages.

Massive Landslide Strikes Six Villages in Papua New Guinea: Scores Feared Dead

A devastating landslide struck six villages in Papua New Guinea’s highlands early Friday morning, with many homes believed to be buried and scores of villagers feared dead. The disaster occurred in a remote part of Enga province at approximately 3:00 am local time, catching many residents asleep in their homes.

Provincial governor Peter Ipatas described the event as a “big landslide causing loss of life and property,” with reports suggesting that hundreds of people may be buried under the debris. More than six villages were affected by the unprecedented natural disaster, resulting in substantial damages.

A rapid response team comprising of medics, military personnel, police, and UN agencies has been deployed to the area to assess the situation and provide assistance to the injured. Images from the scene show a massive section of rock and soil detached from Mount Mungalo, leaving behind a scar of car-sized boulders, felled trees, and dirt stretching down to the valley floor.

Local residents, including men, women, and children, rushed to the scene to help with rescue efforts, digging through rubble and searching for survivors. Reports indicate that more than 100 houses may have been buried in the landslide, with fears that up to 300 people were in the affected area at the time.

The remoteness of the location has posed challenges for emergency services, with estimates suggesting it could take up to two days to reach the area. Aid agencies such as the Red Cross and CARE are on standby to provide support and assistance to those affected.

Initial assessments suggest that the number of injured or deceased individuals could range from 100 to 500, but the exact toll remains unknown. The cause of the landslide is still under investigation, with suggestions ranging from gold mining activities to heavy rainfall in the region.

This tragic event comes amidst a season of intense rainfall and flooding in the area, with previous landslides claiming lives earlier this year. International support, including inquiries from the Australian government, is being mobilized to assist in the recovery efforts.

The situation remains fluid as authorities work to assess the full extent of the damage and provide aid to those affected by this devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea.

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