Home Indo-Pacific Papua New Guinea: Hundreds Feared Dead As Landslide Buries Remote Village

Papua New Guinea: Hundreds Feared Dead As Landslide Buries Remote Village

Papua New Guinea

A massive landslide struck the remote village of Kaokalam in northern Papua New Guinea, burying over 300 people and more than 1,100 houses. The disaster occurred around 3 a.m. on Friday in Enga Province, about 600 km northwest of the capital, Port Moresby.

The Papua New Guinea Post Courier reported that over 300 individuals and 1,182 houses were buried in the landslide. This information was based on comments from Aimos Akem, a member of the country’s parliament. Akem was not immediately available for further comment.

The landslide affected more than six villages in the province’s Mulitaka region. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed the impact and noted that Australia’s High Commission in Port Moresby is closely coordinating with PNG authorities to assess the damage and casualties further.

Emergency teams have reached the sparsely populated area, recovering four bodies so far, with the death toll expected to rise. The landslide has blocked highway access, leaving helicopters as the only means to reach the affected region.

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Footage shared on social media by villager Ninga Role shows locals clambering over rocks, uprooted trees, and mounds of dirt in search of survivors. The video also captures the sound of women weeping in the background, underscoring the tragedy’s emotional toll.

Prime Minister James Marape announced that disaster officials, the Defence Force, and the Department of Works and Highways are involved in relief and recovery efforts. Australia’s High Commission is also actively supporting the response.

The full extent of the damage remains unclear, but efforts are underway to provide aid and rescue those still trapped.

With Inputs From Reuters