ABOUT 8,000 people from the Tangiki tribe in the Ialibu district, Southern Highlands are affected after the Yalo River burst its banks on Sunday night, destroying houses and food gardens.
The flood waters, caused by heavy rains, also washed away livestock and the Yalo Bridge.
PNG Evangelical Lutheran church Pr Penga Nimbo told The National yesterday many villages like Kendagl, Yawalinda, Mungumapu, Yarep, Rombakenda, Ponowi, Yamela and Kumbeme were affected.
Pr Nimbo, who is from the Tangiki tribe, was involved in the rescue operation yesterday morning in Kendagl village.
He said many people were now looking for their belongings that were washed away by the flood.
He said 15 houses were destroyed in Kendagl village and that he did not know about the situation in other villages, especially the two big ones, Yombi and Yalje located at the source of the river.
He also did not have information on the status of the Mugumap village, which is located downstream of the river.
Pr Nimbo said the Kendagl, Pnpwi and Kerene primary schools together with the Kendagl and Ponowi aid posts were partially damaged.
“It is now very difficult to transport school materials and medicine into the area because our only access road is cut off after the Yalo Bridge was washed away by the Yalo River,” he said.
“People are now living in fear of more rain which will cause more damage.”