26 May 2009

Fears of casualties amid PNG report of Morobe landslide

1:08 pm on 26 May 2009

Heavy rain is reported to have caused a landslide in Papua New Guinea's Morobe province on Sunday and there are concerns about the damage it caused.

Villagers from the area walked for hours to report the landslide that hit the Sialim district, telling the authorities that 19 people have been buried.

The National Disaster Centre's acting director, Martin Mose, says the information they have is still sketchy.

"The Morobe Provincial authorities will be flying into the area, because it can only be accessed by chopper, so the National Disaster Centre has organised to assist with a chopper to do the assessment and to report back with greater detail by the end of today or tomorrow."

Martin Mose says it's unclear how many people usually live in the area.

Morobe's provincial disaster centre says it's raining heavily and it's waiting for the weather to clear before sending in a team.