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Papua New Guinea reports over 2,000 people buried alive in massive landslide, calls for international aid

Papua New Guinea notified the UN on Monday that over 2,000 individuals were buried in a colossal landslide that engulfed a distant village, as per a document acquired by AFP.

BREAKING Papua New Guinea reports over 2,000 people buried alive in massive landslide snt
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First Published May 27, 2024, 11:06 AM IST

Papua New Guinea notified the UN on Monday that over 2,000 individuals were buried in a colossal landslide that engulfed a distant village, as per a document acquired by AFP.

"The landslide buried more than 2,000 people alive and caused major destruction," the country's national disaster centre told the UN office in Port Moresby.

 

In the early hours of Friday morning, a remote hillside village in Enga province faced devastation as a portion of Mount Mungalo collapsed, engulfing numerous homes along with the sleeping residents inside.

According to the disaster office, the landslide inflicted significant damage to buildings and food gardens, severely impacting the economic backbone of the country. The letter received by UN officials on Monday morning further stated that the main highway to Porgera Mine was entirely obstructed.

"The situation remains unstable as the landslip continue to shift slowly, posing ongoing danger to both the rescue teams and survivors alike," it stated.

The magnitude of the catastrophe necessitated "immediate and collaborative actions from all players," it said, including the military, national, and regional responders.

The letter urged the UN to update Papua New Guinea's development partners and other international allies on the current situation. Additionally, it emphasized that assistance should be organized through the disaster center.

Meanwhile, Australia on Monday geared up to dispatch aircraft and other resources to assist at the scene of a devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea. Concerns mounted as overnight rains in the mountainous interior of the South Pacific nation heightened fears of further instability in the massive debris that engulfed hundreds of villagers.

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles stated that discussions between Australian and Papua New Guinean officials had been ongoing since Friday, when a mountainside collapse struck Yambali village in Enga province.

Marles added that the exact nature of the support that we do provide will play out over the coming days. "We've got obviously airlift capacity to get people there. There may be other equipment that we can bring to bear in terms of the search and rescue and all of that we are talking through with PNG right now," he said.

Papua New Guinea is Australia's nearest neighbor, and the countries are fostering closer defense ties as part of an Australian effort to counter China's growing influence in the region. Additionally, Australia stands as the most generous provider of foreign aid to its former colony, which gained independence in 1975.

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