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Massive Landslide Being Blamed on Likelihood of At Least 2,000 Deaths

4 weeks ago
Featured image for the article "Massive Landslide Being Blamed on Likelihood of At Least 2,000 Deaths"

(Benjamin Sipa/International Organization for Migration via AP)

More details are coming out of Papua New Guinea about a massive landslide that buried as many as 2,000 people late last week. Here is what local officials are revealing about the tragedy.

Papua New Guinea Landslide Likely Responsible for Over 2,000 Deaths

According to the National Disaster Centre of Papua New Guinea, the landslide happened at about 3 am local time on Friday. The natural disaster took place in the mountains of the Enga region in the northern part of the country. The revised number of missing people is a dramatic increase from earlier estimates, grabbing headlines around the world.

The landslide impacted the village of Kaokalam, located about 375 miles northwest of the capital city Port Moresby. The debris field measures as large as four football pitches. The latest information indicates that over 150 houses in Yambali village have been buried under the resulting debris of the landslide.

Search and rescue teams are finding it challenging to reach the remote part of the country, forcing local residents to be on their own as they dig through the rubble of the collapsed mountainside. For instance, there are no machines available to move the enormous rocks.

Tons of rock and wet mud tumbled down the mountains and into homes as residents were sleeping, catching everyone off guard. Survivors are recounting how they have lost multiple family members in the disaster. Local officials are not confident that they will find survivors beneath the soil and rubble, assuming that those missing are already gone.

The number of presumed fatalities keeps increasing. Shortly after the mudslide happened, the United Nations (UN) released a statement detailing that as many as 100 lives were lost. This number was later revised upward to 670 by the Papua New Guinea Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).


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