By JAMES GUMUNO
A GRADE 9 girl was among four children buried alive inside their home by a landslide in Mendi, Southern Highlands, on Monday.
Grace Mopune Dopo (pictured above) started classes at the Mendi Secondary School this year.
The 16-year-old was the daughter of Ialibu Basin local-level government council president Robert Dopo.
Mendi/Munhiu district disaster relief coordinator Samuel Mandamo said Grace and the other children were sleeping inside the home when the landslide happened.
Mandamo said the bodies were recovered next day after people dug through the mud.
He said seven deaths were been confirmed in Mendi town while four more were reported at Tuinz village in the Karintz local-level government.
Mandamo said the death toll could be higher and this should be confirmed when all the reports came back to the district headquarters.
He said the district development authority chaired by MP Michael Nali had sent out officers to the four local-level governments to assess the damage and record casualties.
“We provide them with forms to fill out and bring back to us so that we can compile a report for the National Executive Council for funding,” he said.
Mandamo said it was too early to release information on the total damage and lives lost.
He expects to receive all the reports by tomorrow (Friday).
Meanwhile, six more deaths were reported at Kekero village near Moro in the Lake Kutubu local level government of Nipa- Kutubu district.
Moro Police Station commander Chief Sergeant Pes Mondo confirmed the deaths.
Robin Pip, the former district administrator for Nipa/Kutubu, said landslides from three nearby mountains caused the most damage to gardens and homes.
He said the Harenpulim, Nol and Songur mountains just “collapsed”. Pip said at Nipa station, buildings were destroyed and some homes were buried.
Village elders in Nipa such as Tom Kewa, of Egenda village, Yolip Timbel Sapul and Hin Kep of Nipa station,said they had never experienced such a huge natural disaster.
By JAMES GUMUNO