Deadly landslide in Papua New Guinea: this is how the area where they search for hundreds of missing people remained

Deadly landslide in Papua New Guinea: this is how the area where they search for hundreds of missing people remained

Authorities estimate that there are more than 2,000 people buried in mud, rocks and debris.

The authorities of Papua New Guinea they estimate more than 2,000 people could have been buried due to the devastating landslide and rockslide that took place last Friday and that has affected hundreds of homes that have been buried in the towns of Kaokalam and Yambali.

A video recorded by a drone shows the scale of the devastation and what a mountain in the Enga mountain region in the north of the country was left with. More displacements are still planned.

The country's National Disaster Center (CND) has indicated in a letter sent to the United Nations that thousands of people could have been “buried alive” in the context of the natural disaster, which has caused the destruction of numerous homes in the area. , located in the northern highlands of Papua New Guinea.

The authorities, who have warned of the great impact of the disaster on the economy of the area, have regretted that the main road that connects with the Porgera mine is completely blocked and have denounced that the situation is “unstable”. From the CND they have indicated that the rocks keep movingwhich poses a risk to survivors and rescue services, who have encountered serious difficulties in accessing the affected area.

According to local authorities, in the highlands of Papua New Guinea Between 10 and 15 people usually live per the estimates of deaths could increase in the coming days, also taking into account that four other towns have been affected to a greater or lesser extent by the landslide.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that at least 670 people would have died in the devastating avalanche of earth and rocks. For its part, the Australian Government has already begun to mobilize humanitarian aid through the capital, Port Moresby, but the city is 600 kilometers from the province of Enga, so its immediate arrival is not expected.

“We cannot question what the government is suggesting, but we cannot comment on it,” said Serhan Aktoprak, head of the delegation in Papua New Guinea of the immigration agency UN.

“As time goes on in such a huge operation, the number will continue to vary,” Aktoprak added.

The figure of 670 was determined based on calculations by Yambali and Enga officials that more than 150 houses had been buried by the landslide. The previous estimate was 60 houses.

Determine the scale of the disaster is difficult because of the complicated conditions in placesuch as the remote location of the town, the lack of telecommunications and tribal fighting in the province that mean that international aid workers and aid convoys require military escort.

He landslide It also buried a 200-meter stretch of the province's main highway under between 6 and 8 meters of earth and debris, which represents a significant obstacle for emergency workers.

Mana said the landslide would have a major impact on the entire country.

“The situation remains unstable” because the land continues to shift, “posing a risk to both rescue teams and survivors,” Mana wrote to the United Nations.

A excavator donated on Sunday by a local builder It became the first piece of heavy machinery to arrive to help neighbors, who were digging with shovels and farm tools to search for bodies. Working on ground that is still shifting is dangerous.

Mana and the Minister of Defense of Papua New Guinea, Billy Joseph They flew on Sunday in an Australian military helicopter from the capital, Port Moresby, to Yambali, about 600 kilometers northwest, to assess firsthand what was needed.

Mana's office posted an image of the disaster management official handing a local official a check for 500,000 kina ($130,000) to buy emergency supplies for the 4,000 displaced survivors.

The visit was intended to determine whether the government needed to officially request more international aid.

Land-moving equipment used by the country's military was being moved from the eastern coastal city of Lae, 400 kilometers (250 miles) away.

There is division among traumatized local residents over whether heavy machinery should be allowed to be used, which could cause further damage to the bodies of their buried relatives, according to authorities.

(With information from EP and AP)