Many people died in the massive landslide

A massive landslide is believed to have killed hundreds of people after it hit remote villages in Papua New Guinea, local officials and aid agencies said.

The landslide buried more than 100 houses after it occurred at about 03:00 local time Friday (17:00 GMT Thursday) in the Enga highlands, north of the island nation in the southwest Pacific.

It is unclear how many people are trapped in the rubble.

Enga Governor Peter Ipatas told AFP news agency that it was an “unprecedented natural disaster”.

Andrew Ruing, a community leader, told Reuters news agency that people were sleeping when the landslide occurred. “More than 300 lives were covered by debris and rocks,” he said.

“Food, gardens, people, property worth more than millions of dollars have been lost, covered by all of this,” he added.

Busibess leader Elizabeth Iarume told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that “the entire village was destroyed”.

Role of villagers Ninga also said he believes hundreds of people died. He said the scale of the landslide also made rescuing survivors difficult.

“The landslide area is huge and there are rocks and trees everywhere,” Role told Reuters by phone. “It’s very difficult to get them out.”

“While the area is not densely populated, our concern is that the death toll could be higher than normal,” humanitarian organization Care Australia said in a statement.

Clearing the road will take time and “this will hinder assessment and relief efforts,” the agency said.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said disaster officials had been sent to the scene to “start relief work, recover bodies and rebuild infrastructure”.

Video shows villagers crawling over rocks to reach buried people.

People can be heard crying and screaming in the video posted by Facebook user Kindupan Kambii from Kaokalam village in Enga.

The Papua New Guinea Red Cross said an emergency response team made up of officials from the provincial governor’s office, police, defense forces and local NGOs were deployed to the site. .

Enga is more than 600km (372 miles) by road from the capital Port Moresby.


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