2000 feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

2000 feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide
2000 feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide
2000 feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide
2000 feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

2000 feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

2000 feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

2000 feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

Key Highlights:

  1. Around 2000 people feared buried by massive landslide in Papua New Guinea’s Enga region.
  2. Initial estimates of casualties rise sharply from 100 to 670 and may still be a major underestimate.
  3. Rescuers face challenges due to unstable conditions and difficult terrain in accessing affected areas.

A massive landslide in Papua New Guinea’s mountainous Enga region has left around 2000 people feared buried, reported CNN, citing the country’s National Disaster Centre. The disaster occurred on Friday last week, and the latest figure represents a significant increase from earlier estimates.

Initial reports suggested that as many as 100 people may have died, but this number was later revised up to 670 by the Chief of Mission for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in the country. However, the latest projection from Papua New Guinea’s disaster agency indicates that even this figure may be a major underestimate.

Lusete Laso Mana, Acting Director of the National Disaster Centre, described the devastating impact of the landslide, stating that it buried more than 2000 people alive and caused extensive destruction to buildings, food gardens, and economic infrastructure. The situation remains unstable, with ongoing danger to both rescue teams and survivors due to the shifting landslip.

The remote village of Kaokalam bore the brunt of the landslide, leaving a scar of debris equivalent to four football pitches. Over 150 houses in Yambali village were buried, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. The area continues to pose an extreme risk, with rocks falling and soil exposed to increased pressure.

Papua New Guinea’s challenging terrain and lack of infrastructure have hampered rescue efforts, making it difficult for responders to access the affected area. Pierre Rognon, an associate professor from the University of Sydney’s School of Civil Engineering, emphasized the challenges faced by rescuers in locating survivors amidst the debris.

While the exact cause of the landslide remains unclear, geology professor Alan Collins from the University of Adelaide highlighted the region’s considerable rainfall as a contributing factor. Frequent earthquakes and deforestation have further exacerbated the instability of steep slopes, making landslides more prevalent.

As rescue efforts continue, the international community stands ready to support Papua New Guinea in its recovery efforts and provide assistance to affected communities during this tragic time.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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