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News > Papua New Guinea

Over 2,000 People Buried in Papua New Guinea Landslide

  • Rescue of one of the landslide victims in Papua New Guinea, May 27, 2024.

    Rescue of one of the landslide victims in Papua New Guinea, May 27, 2024. | Photo: X/ @true_dispatch

Published 27 May 2024

The tragedy occurred in Kaokokam, a town located in the troubled and remote province of Enga.

On Monday, United Nations agencies indicated that at least 2,000 people are expected to have died as a result of the massive landslide that occurred in Papua New Guinea a few days ago.


Tragedy in Papua New Guinea: UN Estimates 670 Dead by Mudslide

The tragedy occurred in the town of Kaokokam, which is located in the troubled and remote province of Enga, about 600 kilometers from the country's capital, Port Moresby. The landslide affected several villages. So far, however, rescuers have only managed to find five bodies. 

"The difficulty in establishing a reliable number of fatalities is due to the fact that the catastrophe occurred in an area that is difficult to access and also to the recent influx into the area of ​​so many people fleeing tribal conflicts in neighboring areas," Vatican News explained.

"The landslide destroyed around 150 houses, divided into six villages, inhabited by at least 4,000 people. This could suggest an even higher number of victims," ​​it added.

Meanwhile, a political crisis coincides with the impact of the Kaokokam avalanche. Prime Minister James Marape faces a crisis this week that could see him removed from power.

Over the weekend, 18 legislators and five ministers left his party and joined the opposition, citing disagreements with government policies. These political changes could lead to a vote of confidence.

On Sunday, however, Marape announced that he "will not resign from his position" and that he has the support of more than half of the 118 members of Parliament.

Papua New Guinea is a nation with difficult geography in which the majority of its more than ten million inhabitants live in poverty despite having large mineral and hydrocarbon resources and a long history of political intrigue, corruption and conflict.

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