Papua New Guinea Landslide Tragedy: Many Dead

Papua New Guinea Landslide Tragedy: Many Dead

Sawako Uchida and Michiyo Tanabe

Modern Tokyo Times

Tragedy hit a remote village in Papua New Guinea after a brutal landslide killed many.

Reports say approximately 100 homes were buried in the village of Kaokalam. This village is located in the province of Enga. However, information is sketchy with some reports saying the number of homes buried is much higher.

The BBC reports, “Papua New Guinea’s Red Cross Society said an emergency response team made up of officials from the provincial governor’s office, police, defense forces, and local NGOs has deployed to the site.”

Videos uploaded to social media show people desperately helping people trapped by the landslide.

Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea said government officials are in Kaokalam to “start relief work, recovery of bodies, and reconstruction of infrastructure.” 

Marape continued, “I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the landslide disaster in the early hours of this morning.”

Voice of America reports, “In an interview, Papua New Guinea Red Cross official Janet Philemon told the U.S. news channel CNN the number of people killed or missing is “very fluid,” but more than 100 people are believed to be dead.”

Sandis Tsaka (the Provincial Administrator of the province of Enga) said, “The devastating landslide which is being described as an unprecedented natural disaster occurred (in the) early hours of this morning … causing substantial damages to property and human lives which are currently unaccounted for.”

It is hoped that survivors buried under houses will be rescued.

The shock to local people is enormous.

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