15 Dec 2008

Tarpaulins, water containers being distributed to thousands of PNG king tide victims

2:44 pm on 15 December 2008

About six to seven thousand people in Papua's New Guinea Morobe province are thought to have been affected by a series of destructive king tides.

King tides, created by a low pressure system last week caused flooding in many areas, including Morobe, New Ireland, Manus, Bougainville, West and East Sepik and Madang.

The PNG government has estimated about 50,000 people had been affected across the seven provinces.

Morobe's disaster management office's director, Roy Kamen, says early reports from the province suggest at least 54 families are homeless.

But Mr Kamen says thousands more in that province could be affected.

"People have not been injured but houses have been washed away. Drinking water has been contaminated because of the sea and the debris that was brought in by the waves. If all our figures come in we would be looking at about six to seven thousand people affected."

Roy Kamen says they are distributing tarpaulins and fresh water containers, but some outer islands are hard to access.