Massive Landslide Buries Over 100 Homes in Papua New Guinea

A massive landslide is feared to have killed many after it struck six remote villages in Papua New Guinea, according to local officials and aid agencies. The landslide buried more than 100 homes around 03:00 local time on Friday (17:00 GMT Thursday) in the highlands of Enga, in the north of the island nation in the southwest Pacific.

The number of people trapped in the rubble remains unclear, and no casualties have been officially confirmed.

Enga Governor Peter Ipatas described the event to AFP news agency as an “unprecedented natural disaster.”

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape announced that his government has dispatched disaster officials to the landslide site to “start relief work, recovery of bodies, and reconstruction of infrastructure.” He promised to provide further information once fully briefed on the scale of destruction and loss of lives.

Images circulating online show dozens of people climbing over fallen boulders to survey the damage. Many houses appeared to have collapsed, and trees were uprooted.

Rescue efforts are reportedly hampered by the debris. Videos posted by Facebook user Kindupan Kambii from Kaokalam village in Enga capture sounds of crying and yelling.

“There are reports of deaths and multiple casualties, but the exact numbers haven’t been confirmed yet,” stated a spokesman from Papua New Guinea’s Red Cross Society. He added that an emergency response team, consisting of officials from the provincial governor’s office, police, defense forces, and local NGOs, has been deployed to the site.

International humanitarian organization CARE said that it is “currently undergoing a situation assessment” of the incident.

Getty Images People gather at the site of a landslide in Maip Mulitaka in Papua New Guinea's Enga Province
Dozens of people are scrambling amid fallen boulders to assess the situation

Enga is more than 600km by road from the country’s capital, Port Moresby.


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