25 Apr 2008

PNG government declares emergency over Okuk Highway blockade

3:26 pm on 25 April 2008

The Papua New Guinea government has declared a state of emergency, calling for the army to reopen a highway blocked by a massive landslide in Simbu Province.

Following a meeting in Madang yesterday, the National Executive Council decided to call the defence force to help police deal with the issues affecting the Okuk Highway.

Heavy rain caused a massive landslide two weeks ago, blocking links with the Highlands region.

The Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare says the landslide has directly affected the livelihood of many people.

He says the cabinet has approved 12 million US dollars for the call-out to provide emergency relief.