Home News UN report: 670 feared dead in Papua New Guinea landslide

UN report: 670 feared dead in Papua New Guinea landslide

A landslide in Yambali village, in the remote Enga province of Papua New Guinea on May 24, has resulted in an estimated 670 fatalities, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). 

Serhan Aktoprak, the IOM country head, reported that the village is buried under six to eight meters of soil. Approximately 150 houses are believed to be buried, significantly more than initial estimates. 

The UN agency said the likelihood of finding survivors is decreasing. IOM has deployed six aid workers to the site, working alongside personnel from other UN agencies, NGOs, and government agencies. 

Conditions remain hazardous, with water running down the mountain and continuous land movement, complicating relief efforts. Falling boulders pose additional risks.

The disaster has displaced around 1,000 people. Rescue workers are using any available tools to locate bodies. 

The Porgera Highway, the main access route to Enga Province, is blocked by debris, limiting access to the site. IOM reported that heavy machinery is expected to arrive on Sunday to aid recovery operations.

The United Nations Office in Papua New Guinea said, “communications infrastructure and access roads to the affected site have been damaged.” 

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An Emergency Response Coordination Team has been established, comprising various provincial and national agencies, including the UN.

An initial rapid impact assessment has identified an immediate need for food, shelter, and medical supplies. 

The United Nations is “monitoring the situation very closely, in collaboration with national and provincial government authorities, including other partners to determine the extent of damage, casualties and possible assistance that may be required for those impacted,” the UN said. 

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