24 Jan 2006

Search for bodies in PNG's Morobe province after mudslide kills 13

4:43 pm on 24 January 2006

Police in Papua New Guinea are searching for five bodies still not recovered after a mudslide killed 13 people in Morobe province.

More than a dozen houses at Bapa in the Buang area were pushed into a flooded creek during torrential rain on Friday night.

The provincial government says it was only alerted to the disaster yesterday morning, when it launched a recovery operation.

The mudslide took out the village road, and the Morobe province police commander, Chief Superintendent Peter Nessatt, says securing access has been difficult.

"Rain is continuing, this is making it quite difficult for normal travellers, but the police and the government officials are there to do their job searching for the remaining unaccounted bodies."

The provincial governor Luther Wenge says he shares the sadness of the families affected and officials are considering how to help rehouse the survivors.