Deadly landslide in Papua New Guinea kills over 100 people

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Port Moresby [Papua New Guinea]: Over 100 people have died after a huge landslide struck a remote village in Papua New Guinea, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The landslide hit Kaokalam Village in Enga Province, about 600 kilometres northwest of Port Moresby, at 3 am.
The bodies are being recovered by the villagers, ABC reported. According to the residents, the estimate of the death toll is above 100, although authorities have not confirmed the figure yet.

Elizabeth Laruma, the president of the Porgera Women in Business Association, said that the houses were flattened when the side of a nearby mountain gave way. “It has occurred when people were still asleep in the early hours and the entire village has gone down,” Laruma added.”From what I can presume, it’s about 100-plus people who are buried beneath the ground.”

However, it is not yet clear whether emergency services have visited the remote area, as reported by ABC News.
Ninga Role, who is from Kaokalam but is attending university in Madang, said he received news of the damage this morning.

He highlighted that according to his estimates, at least four of his relatives had been killed in the landslide.
The videos shared on social media show residents scaling huge rocks and pulling bodies from rubble and beneath trees.

“But it is difficult work”, Role stressed. “There are some huge stones and plants, trees. The buildings (have) collapsed,” he said. “These things are making it hard to find the bodies fast.” Moreover, the landslide has also blocked the access road to the Porgera town, where a large gold mine is located, ABC reported.

Laruma said that people in the area were concerned about access to goods and services. “When this road is being closed off – and I don’t know how long it’s going to take – it’s going to have a really big impact on the people out there in terms of goods, fuel and services,” she said.

“It’s going to have a big impact on the lives of the people of Porgera and the mine as well.” She further called on the PNG government and non-governmental organisations to provide aid with immediate relief to the area.

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