HomePOPULARPapua New Guinea Faces Catastrophe: Landslide Buries 2,000, Sparks Urgent Evacuations

Papua New Guinea Faces Catastrophe: Landslide Buries 2,000, Sparks Urgent Evacuations

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: A devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea has led to the urgent evacuation of approximately 7,900 people from remote villages, with fears of further landslips looming. The disaster struck on May 24, burying an estimated 2,000 people under a vast expanse of yellow and grey debris. The remote location, severed road access, ongoing heavy rainfall, and nearby tribal violence have severely hindered rescue and relief operations.

Enga provincial administrator Sandis Tsaka described the continuing peril as “the tragedy is still active,” with continuous rockfalls from Mount Mungalo. Satellite images revealed the massive scale of the landslide, which has cut through verdant bushland and severed the region’s only road.

Locals have been desperately digging through the debris with basic tools, attempting to recover bodies from the churned-up earth, uprooted trees, and car-sized boulders. Tsaka expressed the dire situation, saying, “I am not equipped to deal with this tragedy.” The Papua New Guinea Defence Forces are working to bring in heavy earth-moving equipment for the recovery efforts.

International aid and support are mobilizing, with Australia pledging millions of dollars in emergency relief and both China and the United States offering assistance. The United Nations has called for immediate and collaborative action to address the scale of the catastrophe.

The landslide, possibly triggered by recent heavy rains, underscores the growing risks of climate change-induced weather patterns in the region. The toll of the disaster continues to rise, with over 1,000 people already displaced and many more feared dead beneath the rubble. Tribal violence has further complicated the delivery of humanitarian aid, adding to the region’s turmoil and the challenge of relief efforts.

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