17 Jan 2013

PNG PM visits flood-affected Oro Province

5:37 am on 17 January 2013

The Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O'Neill has visited the waterlogged Oro Province to meet regional disaster management officials so the government can decide on its relief response.

Two weeks of continuous rain has left most villages under water, crops damaged, and fuel supplies running dangerously low, and warns it will get worse with another month of rain forecast.

Thousands of people have relocated to higher ground and are living in make-shift tents, and parts of the province are cut off because flood damage has affected key bridges.

The director of the PNG National Disaster Centre, Martin Mose, who has travelled to Oro Province, says the damage is widespread.

"The entire breadth and length of the province have actually felt effects from these wet weather conditions that's currently being experienced here in Oro Province and of course in other parts of the country."

Martin Mose says the Prime Minister visited the Wau-Bulolo area in the Morobe Province on Monday where a section of the main highway has been cut off from flooding and pledged 240,000 US dollars for urgent work on the road.