Monday, June 24, 2024
HomeWorldPapua New Guinea mayhem: Over 2,000 people buried in deadly landslide, local authorities tell UN

Papua New Guinea mayhem: Over 2,000 people buried in deadly landslide, local authorities tell UN

More than 2,000 people were buried alive by a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea last week, the national disaster centre said on Monday, as treacherous terrain and the difficulty of getting aid to the site raises the risk few survivors will be found.

The numbers of those buried around Yambali village in Enga province in the country’s north are based on estimates from local authorities which have been rising steadily since Friday’s landslide.

UN agency put the estimated death toll at more than 670 people on Sunday. The National Disaster Centre raised the toll again to 2,000 in a letter to the UN on Sunday that was released publicly on Monday. The landslide also caused major destruction to buildings and food gardens, it said. “The situation remains unstable as the landslip continues to shift slowly, posing an ongoing danger to both the rescue teams and survivors alike,” according to the letter.

About 4,000 people were living near the affected area, CARE International PNG country director Justine McMahon told ABC television on Monday. But it is difficult to get an accurate estimate of the local population as PNG’s last credible census was in 2000 and many people live in remote mountainous villages. The country recently announced a census would be conducted in 2024.

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