Agiru pays tribute to landslide victims

National, Normal

The National, Monday 30th January 2012

THE landslide at the Tumbi quarry near the Hides Gas project area, which claimed 26 lives, has been described as the worst natural disaster in Southern Highlands and Hela.
Governor Anderson Agiru said: “We have lost many loved ones through this natural disaster. We have also lost those who have come from far and wide to live among us. History will record this tragedy to be the worst as we move forward to experience and welcome changes never before seen in our world.
“The Gigira mountain range is the custodian of some of the most important historical sites, legends and oracles of the Hela nation. It is also the home of some of the deepest sink holes in the world.
“These sink holes are all connected with several strategic areas in Hela. They are communication funnels and backbones that hold the four Hela brothers together. You upset one structure by drilling and blasting, it will block the other. Only a few of us have knowledge of these features of the Hela’s legendary Giginawini.
“I thank my brother Peter O’Neill for visiting our people and comforting them in the time of great need.
“I also thank Francis Potabe for been the first on the ground during the time of great disaster.
“I further thank our development partners Esso Highlands Ltd, operator of the PNG LNG and Oil Search Ltd for the positive responses.
“Gratitude should also go to all the contractors in the area and the local leadership for assisting my people during these trying times.”