By ELIAS LARI
FIVE bodies have been found and seven people are missing after a landslide hit Tambul in Western Highlands early Saturday.
The landslide which began around 1am also washed away 13 homes, domestic animals and food gardens.
The five bodies, including a toddler, were recovered by the villagers of Kamdi in Upper Kagul, Tambul-Nebilyer electorate.
Yombikul Primary School head teacher Benjamin Yanga said everyone was caught by surprise as the area was not too hilly.
“People who were awake at that time heard a big noise and found out it was a landslide,” Yanga said.
He said it was the first time for him to witness a landslide destroying lives and properties.
“We are shocked at the moment because this is the first time to witness people die like that in our Tendepo tribe,” Yanga said.
Ward councillors Nikindi Mandea from Kamdi One and Tapio Wapo from Kamdi Two described it as a great loss.
Mandea said the wards had a total population of 1,400.
Tambul-Nebilyer MP Win Bakri Daki arranged for an excavator to help in retrieving the bodies.
Deputy chief executive officer of the district development authority Immanuel Kewa arranged for an ambulance.
Provincial disaster coordinator Robin Yakamb told The National his office did not have funds to assist. He said under the Disaster Management Act, the province should become the first respondent, followed by the national disaster and then the donor agencies.
Yakamb said provincial governments should have the funding and support in advance as natural disasters will continue to become a serious threat because of the climate change.