20 Nov 2007

Oro Governor says immediate aid vital for PNG flood disaster victims

1:20 pm on 20 November 2007

The Governor of Oro Province in Papua New Guinea says immediate aid is vital for the tens of thousands of people affected by flooding over the past week.

Suckling Tamanabae says the bulk of the province's two hundred thousand people have suffered in the flooding.

Provincial authorities have confirmed 71 people have died but that dozens more are missing.

Governor Tamanabae says some victims will have gone without food, water and medicines for days, and he says they need immediate help from the national government or international agencies.

"If they can help immediately to help the people who are now - some of them are floating on the trees, hanging in the trees, some of them are on the house tops, some of them have moved to higher ground. They need immediate attention in this situation that we are in. So this is where I am calling for assistance from national and international and anybody who can help."

Oro Governor Suckling Tamanabae.

The PNG Government has declared a state of emergency and promised funds of around 16 million US dollars for the relief effort.