Papua New Guinea Fears 2K Dead in Landslide

New estimate exceeds most recent UN count
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 27, 2024 1:30 AM CDT
Papua New Guinea Says Landslide Buried 2K People
Villagers search through a landslide in Yambali village, in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Sunday, May 26, 2024.   (Mohamud Omer/International Organization for Migration via AP)

The Papua New Guinea government said a landslide Friday buried more than 2,000 people and has formally asked for international help, the AP reports. The government figure is around three times more than a United Nations' estimate of 670. In a letter seen by the Associated Press to the United Nations resident coordinator dated Sunday, the acting director of the South Pacific island nation's National Disaster Center said the landslide "buried more than 2000 people alive" and caused "major destruction." Estimates of the casualties have varied widely since the disaster occurred, and it was not immediately clear how officials arrived at the number of people affected.

Meanwhile, Australia—Papua New Guinea's nearest neighbor—prepared on Monday to send aircraft and other equipment to help at the site of the deadly landslide as overnight rains in the South Pacific nation's mountainous interior raised fears that the tons of rubble that buried hundreds of villagers could become dangerously unstable. Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said his officials have been talking with their Papua New Guinea counterparts since Friday, when a mountainside collapsed on Yambali village in Enga province, which the United Nations estimates killed 670 people. The remains of only six people had been recovered so far.

(More Papua New Guinea stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.