Home News Papua New Guinea landslide buries 2,000 people

Papua New Guinea landslide buries 2,000 people

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Tribal conflicts also increase post-disaster security risks.

Ruth Kissam, a community organizer in Enga province, said boulders fell from one tribe’s land into a town where another tribe lives.

“Tensions are going to exist,” she said. “Tensions already exist.”

Even before the disaster, the region had experienced Clash of Clans This caused people to flee surrounding villages, with many ending up in communities buried by landslides. In September last year, much of Enga was sealed off and placed under curfew by the government, with no flights in or out.

Now, as the search for the dead and the living continues, anger and violence are growing.

The head of the International Organization for Migration’s office in Papua New Guinea, Seran Aktoprak, said a quarrel between two tribes on Saturday morning left people dead and dozens of houses burned, adding that the threat of violence was making it more difficult to distribute aid.

Papua New Guinea officials also stressed the need to remain calm.

“After inspection by the team, it was determined that the damage is so extensive that it requires immediate and coordinated action by all parties,” government officials who have inspected the site said in the letter.

The landslide struck the village around 3 a.m. Friday as many residents were asleep. Some of the boulders, larger than shipping containers, buried homes and cut off a main road. Even in a region prone to storms and earthquakes, the landslides drew outrage at home and abroad, including from the White House.

“Jill and I are heartbroken by the loss of life and devastation caused by the landslides in Papua New Guinea,” President Biden said in a statement following the disaster. “Our prayers are with all the families affected by this tragedy and all the first responders who are putting themselves in harm’s way to help their fellow citizens.”

Christopher Cottrell contributed reporting.

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