Landslide in Papua New Guinea: 670 people buried under rubble

Оползень в Папуа-Новой Гвинее: 670 человек погребены под завалами

Hundreds of people are buried under rubble after a landslide in the village of Yambali in Papua New Guinea. Landslide in Papua New Guinea: 670 people buried under rubble Humanitarian assistance

A landslide in northern Papua New Guinea on Friday may have caused many more deaths than previously thought. This was stated on Sunday by the head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the country, Serhan Aktoprak.

In an interview with the media, Aktoprak said that part of the village of Yambali, located at the foot of a mountain in the remote Enga province, is buried under six to eight meters of earth.

According to an IOM spokesman, 150 houses were under rubble, which is about 90 more than previously reported. An estimated 670 people are underground, and “hopes of finding them alive are diminishing.”

Six IOM staff are on the ground, as well as representatives from other UN agencies, NGOs and government institutions. Conditions remain dangerous for people: water continues to flow from the mountain and the ground remains slippery. Additionally, relief efforts are hampered by falling boulders.

The landslide forced about 1,000 people from their homes and there are fears the death toll will rise. Aktoprak said rescuers are using whatever tools are available, such as shovels and sticks, to try to find the bodies.

Оползень в Папуа-Новой Гвинее: 670 человек погребены под завалами

With debris covering large sections of the only highway in Enga province, access to the disaster site is limited.

In a statement issued on Saturday, UN offices in Papua New Guinea reported that communications infrastructure and transport routes to the affected area had been damaged.

An Emergency Response Coordination Unit was established to lead relief efforts , which included government departments, police, military and the United Nations.

The Group’s initial assessment identified an urgent need for food, shelter and medical supplies.

“The United Nations is closely monitoring the situation, in collaboration with national and provincial governments and other partners, to determine the extent of the damage, casualties and what assistance those affected may need,” – the statement says.


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