Australian angel returns to give aid to a place once home

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By MALUM NALU in Mt Hagen
Australian woman Sally Lloyd, pictured, who grew up in remote Mougolu in Western, is back in the country to help the people who have been affected by the earthquake.
Lloyd, who was raised by missionary parents in Mougolu and who calls it “home”, travelled there yesterday from Kagamuga Airport in a helicopter with Enga-based American Lutheran missionary Anton Lutz and other aid worker.
She became the angel of Mougolu during the 2015 drought when she helped provide food to people who claimed they had been ignored by the government.
Mougolu, on the foothills of Mt Bosavi, borders Hela and Southern Highlands and is 40km from the epicentre of last week’s earthquake.
Lloyd and Lutz are working closely with the Missionary Aviation Fellowship to provide relief assistance to Mougolu.
“The Government is forming a hub at Mougolu and we’ll be helping them,” she said at Kagamuga.
“Today we’re hoping to go out and visit some of the people at the Bosavi area and try to assist them.
“They’ve moved onto the airstrips, which makes it easier to distribute aid to them.
“We’ll go out there and firstly make sure that they’re okay.
“They’re all terrified and asking for us to come and help settle them down.
“You’ve probably heard some of the rumours that Mt Bosavi is about to explode and all sorts of crazy stories, so the people are terrified.
“Our biggest concern for the people out there is because they’re afraid of Mt Bosavi exploding, some of them are trying to move away, which puts them straight at the base of the Tagali River which is very dangerous because of the big quake.
“There’s a huge lake out there and people may not realise that they are heading straight into danger.
“We want to make sure that we tell them about that. MAF and the PNG Defence Force have got coordinates and they will be starting relief flights into the area.
“Some relief has gone in, mostly through MAF, and the local businesshouses in Mt Hagen have been terrific.
“They’ve got tarps, rice and water, only enough for at least a few days, but enough to get them started.
“Once we get out there and find out more, we’ll know where to go.”
Lloyd said the Bosavi Valley area had a population of about 8000 from Western, Hela and Southern Highlands.