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Over 2,000 feared buried alive in Papua New Guinea landslide

May 28

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Thousands are being forced to evacuate on Tuesday, May 28, in Papua New Guinea, where officials have declared a state of emergency due to an ongoing landslide following a deadly incident the week of May 19. More than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by a landslide in Papua New Guinea’s remote northern highlands last week, according to government officials.

The exact death toll remains unclear, with only five bodies recovered so far.

“We have a situation that is getting worse and worse every moment,” Serhan Aktoprak, the chief of the U.N. migration agency’s mission in Papua New Guinea, said. “As time goes in such a massive undertaking, the number will remain fluid.”

The landslide has destroyed buildings and blocked the main highway, creating major obstacles for relief workers.

Heavy machinery has been brought in to assist, but officials say the situation remains unstable due to shifting debris.

“This situation necessitates immediate action and international support to mitigate further losses and provide essential aid to those affected,” said Anne Mandal, a spokesperson for the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration.

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape said the government is working with international organizations to assess the damage and determine the need for further support.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

THOUSANDS ARE BEING FORCED TO EVACUATE TODAY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA WITH OFFICIALS DECLARING A STATE OF EMERGENCY — SAYING A LANDSLIDE IS STILL-ACTIVE FOLLOWING LAST WEEK’S DEADLY INCIDENT.

MORE THAN 2,000 PEOPLE ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN BURIED ALIVE BY THE LANDSLIDE IN THE COUNTRY’S REMOTE NORTHERN HIGHLANDS.

IT’S NOT IMMEDIATELY CLEAR HOW HIGH THE DEATH TOLL ACTUALLY IS — SO FAR ONLY 5 BODIES HAVE BEEN RECOVERED.

THE LANDSLIDE DESTROYED BUILDINGS AND BLOCKED THE MAIN HIGHWAY CREATING MAJOR OBSTACLES FOR RELIEF WORKERS.

HEAVY MACHINERY HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN TO ASSIST, BUT OFFICIALS SAY THE SITUATION REMAINS UNSTABLE DUE TO SHIFTING DEBRIS.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S PRIME MINISTER SAYS THE GOVERNMENT IS WORKING WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE AND DETERMINE THE NEED FOR FURTHER SUPPORT.