The National, Thursday 13th September, 2012
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE body of one of the three young people buried in last Thursday’s landslip in Southern Highlands has been retrieved, provincial administrator Ungia Kembo said yesterday.
Kembo said the recovery team working with excavators found the body of a girl at the landslip site at Wata Bung, between Mendi and Kagua.
Search for the other two bodies was continuing amid steady rain, he added.
Kembo said the road blocked by a landslip on the Kubame stretch of the Highlands Highway between Mendi and Mt Hagen was now open to traffic after being cleared last Friday.
He said a bridge between Kubame and Ialibu had been completed and traffic was back to normal. Attention would now turn to other major affected areas such as Kagua-Erave, Imbongu and Ialibu-Pangia.
He said the Works Department in Mendi was moving in equipment to fix a temporary bridge across the Yalo River at Kagua after the standing bridge was washed away last Thursday.
He said they had to budget where to spend the K300,000 from the provincial government for relief assistance and transportation of relief equipment.
He said as instructed by Governor William Powi a day after the disaster, a quick assessment team had been dispatched and had submitted a report on the damage and destruction.
A full report would be compiled after the assessment team returned.
He said the biggest cost would involve rebuilding washed-away bridges.
Powi said from China yesterday, where he is on government duty, that part of the relief fund would be spent on relocation and assistance to severely-affected people.