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Landslide Tragedy Over 100 Feared Dead in Papua New Guinea

Photo : AFP

Early on Friday, May 24, 2024, a catastrophic landslide struck Kaokalam Village in the remote Enga Province of Papua New Guinea. Situated approximately 600 kilometers northwest of Port Moresby, the nation's capital, the landslide is believed to have occurred around 3 am local time, engulfing the village in a wave of devastation.

Initial reports from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) indicate that over 100 individuals are feared dead as a result of the landslide. The village, nestled amidst the rugged terrain of Enga Province, bore the brunt of the disaster, with homes and structures buried under tons of debris.

Eyewitness accounts from residents paint a grim picture of the aftermath, with locals scrambling to unearth buried bodies amid the wreckage. Social media footage captured the desperate scenes as villagers, aided by rudimentary tools, worked tirelessly to recover victims from the rubble.

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Despite the urgent need for assistance, the Papua New Guinea government and local authorities had not issued official statements or responded to requests for comment by Friday. The lack of communication has left the exact extent of the tragedy uncertain, with fears that the death toll could rise significantly as search and rescue efforts continue.

Papua New Guinea, a nation known for its cultural diversity and challenging geographical conditions, faces significant obstacles in disaster response and relief efforts. With limited infrastructure and rugged terrain, accessing remote areas such as Kaokalam Village poses formidable challenges to rescue teams.

The landslide in Kaokalam Village serves as a sobering reminder of the vulnerability of communities in remote regions to natural disasters. As Papua New Guinea grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, calls for improved disaster preparedness and infrastructure development resonate strongly, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to mitigate the impact of such calamities in the future.

May 24, 2024 2:22 p.m. 462

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