Hundreds Feared Dead in Devastating Papua New Guinea Landslide

KAOKALAM VILLAGE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – A devastating landslide has struck a remote village in Papua New Guinea, leaving scores of people dead and many homes destroyed. The landslide hit Kaokalam Village in Enga Province, located about 600 kilometers northwest of the capital, Port Moresby.

According to reports, residents of the village have estimated that hundreds of people may have lost their lives in the disaster, although official figures are yet to be confirmed by authorities. Elizabeth Laruma, president of the Porgera Women in Business Association, described how houses were flattened when the side of a nearby mountain collapsed in the early hours of the morning, catching people while they were still asleep.

As the tragedy unfolded, RNZ Pacific Correspondent Scott Waide verified the reports of multiple fatalities and extensive damage to houses in the area. Additionally, the main highway leading to Porgera has been closed off as a result of the landslide, further complicating rescue and relief efforts in the region.

Images circulating on social media platforms depict the sheer magnitude of the landslide, showing debris strewn across houses and vehicles, with massive boulders and trees causing widespread destruction. Despite the visuals, authorities have not yet confirmed the exact number of casualties resulting from the disaster.

The close-knit community of Kaokalam Village now faces a long road to recovery, as they grapple with the aftermath of the landslide and the loss of their loved ones. The tragic event serves as a grim reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by remote communities in Papua New Guinea, highlighting the urgent need for improved infrastructure and disaster preparedness measures in the region.

As the nation comes to terms with the devastating impact of the landslide, families and friends of the victims mourn their losses while the international community remains vigilant, ready to lend support to those affected by this natural disaster. The true extent of the damage and loss of life in Kaokalam Village is yet to be fully realized, as rescue and recovery efforts continue amidst the challenging terrain of the region.