close
Tuesday June 25, 2024

Over 300 buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

By Reuters
May 26, 2024
The disaster hit Kaokalam village in Enga province early on Friday morning when many villagers were at home asleep, according to government officials. — AFP File
The disaster hit Kaokalam village in Enga province early on Friday morning when many villagers were at home asleep, according to government officials. — AFP File

SYDNEY:More than 300 people and over 1,100 houses were buried by a massive landslide that levelled a remote village in northern Papua New Guinea, local media reported on Saturday.

Hundreds are feared dead in the landslide that hit Kaokalam village in Enga Province, about 600 km (370 miles) northwest of capital Port Moresby, around 3 a.m. on Friday (1900 GMT on Thursday).

The landslide in the Pacific nation north of Australia buried more than 300 people and 1,182 houses, the Papua New Guinea Post Courier said, citing comments from a member of the country’s parliament, Aimos Akem. Akem did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment via social media.

More than six villages had been impacted by the landslide in the province’s Mulitaka region, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said on Saturday.

“Australia’s High Commission in Port Moresby is in close contact with PNG authorities for further assessments on the extent of the damage and casualties,” a DFAT spokesperson said in a statement.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp reported on Saturday that four bodies had been retrieved from the area after emergency teams reached the sparsely populated area, where the death toll is expected to rise.

The landslide has blocked highway access, making helicopters the only way to reach the area, the broadcaster reported.