24 Mar 2004

PNG takes stock of damage in flood-stricken Madang

3:41 pm on 24 March 2004

The director of Papua New Guinea's National Disaster and Emergency Services, Eric Ani, says works and assistance teams are assessing the damage in flood-stricken Madang province.

Officials from the Mining and Works departments, and the National Disaster Centre, are in the Ramu Valley after villages, food gardens, bridges and roads have been damaged by ten days of torrential rain.

Mr Ani says while there are no confirmed casualties, providing shelter and food to the hundreds of families whose houses have been washed away is their priority.

He says the area is still experiencing intermittent torrential rain, while the landscape is scarred.

"The ground on top, the people who have seen it, have witnessed it, and felt it of course say that there are no trees on the sides of the hills because it is so eroded - they have gone into the river banks and flowed down and the river beds have been dug up and moved down and the debris has affected the bridges"

National Disaster Management Director Eric Ani says power has mostly been restored to the isolated the city of Madang, much of which was without power after power poles were blown over.