4 dead after landslide hits Papua New Guinea

Rescuers were pulling bodies from the debris of a landslide that struck mountainous central Papua New Guinea, a disaster official said Wednesday. Local news media reported that as many as 60 people were dead or missing.

At least four bodies had been recovered by Wednesday evening, though the full extent of the damage to villages hit by Tuesday's landslide was not immediately known, said Martin Mose, the director of the South Pacific island nation's National Disaster Center.

“We are expecting more (bodies),” Mose said. “I am unwilling to put a number on that until I get confirmation from my team.”

The National newspaper reported that 40 bodies had been recovered and 20 people were still missing following the landslide in the central town of Mendi.

The landslide carved a 1-mile (1.5 kilometer) trail of destruction across the remote landscape, Mose said, leaving roads to the villages cut off.

Photos from the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier showed scores of villagers searching a gigantic mound of dirt for survivors and victims.

Local lawmaker Francis Potape told Radio Australia's indigenous language service that the landslide completely covered two villages while people slept.

“There are people buried underneath and a number of them are, from what I have heard, children,” The National quoted Potape as saying.

Three National Disaster Center officials and a police specialist dog unit flew to Mendi on Wednesday to join police at the disaster site.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill also flew to the site to assess the damage on Wednesday.

Accidents and disastersNatural disastersnewsUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Nicole Canedo looks at her City-issued Medical Reimbursement Account page on her computer outside her Berkeley apartment on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Canedo has worked numerous retail jobs in The City and the MRA has helped her with health costs. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Millions left sitting in medical reimbursement accounts by city workers

Health officials looking at how to improve access, outreach as untapped funds reach $409M

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF moves into purple tier, triggering curfew and business shutdowns

San Francisco moved into the state’s purple COVID-19 tier Saturday, requiring The… Continue reading

Indecline, an art activist collective in San Francisco, transformed a billboard into an editorial with a message blasting immigration policies of Donald Trump’s administration. (Screenshot, Indecline website)
Has immigration fallen off the administration’s radar? Not a chance

Enforced as executive orders, Trump’s hardline policies are proceeding, against will of the people

University of San Francisco head coach Todd Golden coaches his team on defense during a 2019 gameat War Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of the University of San Francisco. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)
Stunner in Bubbleville: USF upsets fourth-ranked Virginia

Less than 48 hours removed from a loss to a feeble UMass… Continue reading

A dinner at three Michelin Stars restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, Napa Valley has highlighted Gov. Gavin Newsom’s relationship with a well-known lobbyist. (Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock)
The lobbyist who led Gavin Newsom to the French Laundry has a history of controversy

Lara Korte and Sophia Bollag The Sacramento Bee When photos circulated earlier… Continue reading

Most Read