Flooding a risk

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DAMMED-up rivers in the earthquake-affected areas pose a big danger to people living downstream if they burst, according to the Mission Aviation Fellowship.
The MAF and its associated ministry, the Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship, have been heavily involved in the distribution of relief supplies and the evacuation of injured people since the earthquake 16 days ago.
MAF aircraft have been flying over the disaster areas and gathering information which are needed by the Government and other authorities.
MAF’s Brian Ward called on people living downstream of the Tagari and the Heggio rivers to move to higher ground because of the danger of flooding from the dammed-up rivers.
He also advised people not to build temporary shelters near air strips because of the danger of helicopters blowing them down.
The earthquake and subsequent aftershocks have caused boulders and soil to block the flow of the rivers which created lakes in sections of the Tagari and Heggio rivers.
“These are called earthquake dams and the biggest danger is downstream where the water has stopped flowing,” he said.
“The dams could break at any time causing a powerful flood downstream. So people downstream must move to higher grounds which are safe from landslips.”
He said aid was on its way from many different sources.
“Medical supplies, food and water are being delivered to towns and remote communities in the earthquake-affected areas,” he said.
“Please be patient and continue to help each other. Transport and communication is difficult in PNG and aid workers are doing their very best.”
Ward said the MAF and CRMF would continue to coordinate emergency medical flights for those who had no roads to get to a hospital.

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