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Papua New Guinea PM visits landslide-wrecked region in Enga province, offers support

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Papua New Guinea PM visits landslide-wrecked region in Enga province, offers support

Sydney, May 31 (IANS) Local media reported on Friday that Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister James Marape arrived in the northern Enga province to visit the landslide-affected region and offer support to the people of Mulitaka.

Joined by Enga Province Governor Peter Ipatas and Defense Minister Billy Joseph, Marape touched down on the land of Enga province in the morning before visiting a local health centre and assessing damages at the disaster site, reports Xinhua news agency.

When addressing local communities, the Prime Minister expressed his condolences and sympathy to the affected families, saying that the nation is with them in their times of sorrow.

According to PNG Post-Courier, Marape announced a package of 20 million PNG kinas (5.15 million US dollars) to help survivors restore their lives.

“One million Kinas in food has already been given,” he added, also assuring people that he would return to the province.

At around 3:00 a.m. local time on May 24, a massive landslide hit the Mulitaka area in Enga Province. According to a preliminary report from the PNG National Disaster Center, more than 2,000 people were buried alive, along with major destruction to buildings and food gardens.

Apart from a couple found alive around 48 hours after the disaster, no more survivors have been identified since then, humanitarian affairs specialist and humanitarian advisor of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in PNG Mate Bagossy told Xinhua on Tuesday.

In its latest update on the impacts of the landslide, the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in the Pacific island country noted that six bodies have been retrieved so far, with the total affected population, including those in need of possible evacuation and relocation, estimated to reach 7,849.

 

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