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Death Toll Rises to Over 670 in Papua New Guinea Landslide

Daniel Kim Views  

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) of the United Nations announced on the 26th that the death toll from a massive landslide in the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea has exceeded 670.

On the 24th, a large landslide struck Papua New Guinea, burying over 150 houses in the village of Yambali.

Initially, the estimated death toll was over 300, but the number has increased to more than 670 as the “golden period” for survivor rescue has passed.

It was reported that over 1,000 people became displaced as buildings, including elementary schools, stalls, gas stations, as well as gardens and orchards cultivated by residents, were completely buried.

The IOM explained that they estimated the death toll by calculating the average number of household members, stating the chances of survival for those buried are slim. Meanwhile, it has been reported that the area where the landslide occurred is difficult to access, and local rescue authorities are struggling to clear the building debris due to a lack of equipment. Serhan Aktoprak, Chief of IOM Mission in Papua New Guinea, explained that “rocks and soil continue to fall from the mountain, preventing proper rescue operations” and that residents are suffering from great shock and fear.

The landslide occurred on the morning of the 24th and was caused by heavy rain falling intensively for several weeks. According to the World Bank (WB), Papua New Guinea has one of the highest rainfall rates in the world. Experts have deduced that the risk of landslides is increasing as more rain falls in this area due to climate change.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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