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UN says terrain, remote location hamper relief after landslide buries hundreds

27/5/2024 12:41
        Unstable terrain, remote locations and damaged roads are hampering relief efforts in Papua New Guinea after more than 670 people were feared killed in a landslide last week in the Pacific nation's north, the United Nations said on Monday.
        
        Emergency crews, led by Papua New Guinea's (PNG) defence personnel, were on the ground, but heavy equipment required for the rescue had yet to reach the remote village, as the main road remained cut off and the only access was via helicopter.
        
        PNG government authorities remained focused on clearing debris and improving access to the village, the U.N. said in its latest update. The agency was preparing to move and distribute food and water, and said it was helping set up evacuation centres.
        
        Social media footage posted by villagers and local media teams showed people scaling rocks, digging with shovels, sticks and their bare hands to find survivors. Women could be heard weeping in the background.
        
        Six bodies have been retrieved so far. The U.N. said the number of possible deaths could change as rescue efforts were expected to continue for days.
        
        PNG media on Monday reported that residents had rescued a couple trapped under the rubble after hearing their cries for help.
        



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