Massive Landslide Devastates Remote Village in Papua New Guinea

Rescue and relief efforts are underway after a massive landslide hit Kaokalam village in Papua New Guinea's Enga province, with over 100 feared dead. Authorities, including the PNG Defence Force and disaster officials, are working on recovery and reconstruction efforts. The landslide has also impacted the Porgera gold mine operations.

Reuters | Updated: 24-05-2024 11:48 IST | Created: 24-05-2024 11:48 IST
Massive Landslide Devastates Remote Village in Papua New Guinea

Rescue and relief efforts are underway after several people were feared dead in a massive landslide that stuck a remote village in northern Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the early hours of Friday.

The landslide occurred in the Kaokalam village in Enga province, about 600 km (372 miles) north of the capital Port Moresby, at about 3 a.m. when most of the residents were asleep. Prime Minister James Marape said in a statement that he was yet to be fully briefed on the situation but assured that relevant authorities are working diligently to address the disaster.

"We are sending in disaster officials, PNG Defence Force, and the Department of Works and Highways to meet provincial and district officials in Enga and also start relief work, recovery of bodies, and reconstruction of infrastructure," Marape said. "I will release further information as I am fully briefed on the scale of destruction and loss of lives."

The Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) and other local media have estimated that more than 100 people have died in the landslide, although Reuters could not independently verify this. Villagers fear the toll could be higher, local media reported. Photos and videos posted on social media give an indication of the scale of destruction. Residents are seen scaling huge rocks, scattered among tree trunks and debris left by the landslide to assess the damage.

Some images showed locals helping people trapped under buried homes or under the rubble and carrying them out. PNG police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Media in the Pacific island nation said the landslide has impacted operations at the Porgera gold mine, operated by Barrick Gold through Barrick Niugini Ltd, its joint venture with China's Zijin Mining. Barrick Gold did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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