Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dozens Feared Dead as Rain hinders Papua New Guinea landslide rescue effort

Rescue teams are arriving at the site of a deadly landslide in Papua New Guinea, but continuing wet weather and fears of another landslide are hampering their efforts.

Tumbi village near Tari, in the country's Southern Highlands, is now a mess of millions of cubic metres of rock and soil.

The landslide area is about one kilometre long and several hundred metres wide. Some of the boulders dislodged are the size of cars.

Thousands of people have gathered at the site, many with mud smeared on their faces in a sign of mourning.

PNG prime minister Peter O'Neill has inspected the area and vowed to investigate the cause of the disaster.

Mr O'Neill said an independent team of investigators would be appointed to determine the cause and he promised to help relocate those affected and to find their loved ones.

Local MP Francis Potape was also at the scene and said the devastation was widespread.

But he says it is too early to say how many people have died.

"You have a mother crying on the site, a father crying, people crying, those are the ones who are sure that their relatives are buried in there and have died," he said.

Dozens of people are feared dead. Locals put the death toll at around 60. Read More