9 Feb 2012

Debris finally being cleared more than two weeks after huge PNG landslide

8:19 pm on 9 February 2012

An official with Papua New Guinea's Crisis Management Team says efforts to clear the massive Tumbi landslide in Hela region have been delayed by confusion over the official response to the disaster.

The team, which consists of national disaster officials, as well as members of central agencies, aid agencies and medics, this week began clearing the debris and mud from last month's landslide.

But a provincial disaster official Martin Pat says many locals have been disrupting the official response efforts at the site.

He says while the Crisis Management Team accepts the need of locals to grieve, certain parties have been misleading the community by demanding compensation packages:

"We have been talking to our relatives of the deceased, family heads. We're stored some common sense into them and they've understood and they've realised that it's very essential that we have to put the road to reconstruction. We started work yesterday, 10 AM, and some fifty metres of work has been done."

Martin Pat says the National Disaster Council has not yet received directives from the government about how the 10-million kina it promised for post-disaster aid should be used.

He says he will travel to Port Moresby next week to find out from the government about the funding.