14 Feb 2007

Bad weather hampers rescue efforts in PNG's Madang province

8:11 pm on 14 February 2007

Disaster officials in Papua New Guinea's Madang province say continued bad weather is preventing them reaching people in remote areas hit by flooding and landslides.

Heavy rain and storm force winds over recent weeks have reportedly caused at least ten deaths, destroyed cash crops and swept away livestock.

The Madang Disaster Centre's acting director says two young women and a child were killed when a tree fell on a house during a violent storm, while another person perished in high seas.

Otto Avorosi says six people were buried alive under tonnes of mud in one major landslide.

He says one person who reportedly escaped from the landslide is recovering at an aid post in Inion.

"We have sent out word to our officers to go out in the field to the Guam and Ramu river areas to make on-the-spot investigations and report back to us. At the moment the weather is so bad that we are still unable to get to the area by helicopter. As soon as the weather clears we will be able to make it up to the remote mountainous area."

Otto Avorosi