Landslide destroys village

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday 16th May 2013


A VILLAGE in the remote Nuku district has been covered by a landslide caused by continuous heavy rain along the Torricelli Range between East and West Sepik.

District disaster office official Johnson Siren said the situation at King village was very bad and required immediate government attention.

The people have moved away from the area to live in two centres.

Although there were casualties reported, 29 houses were buried in the mud plus sago trees, food gardens and cocoa trees. 

The landslide also claimed part of the cemetery.

Neighbouring Kolembi village, which has a level four primary school, was also affected by the landslide.

Heavy rain continued to force mud down the slope to the village located on the basin.

Siren, who visited the disaster-stricken area this week, said the landslide had badly affected the villagers.

The parents who did not want the school to close created a bush track around the landslide so that children could access the school.

The children have been advised to walk in groups while travelling to and from school so that they could account for each other in the event of another landslip.

He said a similar disaster happened five years ago but was not attended to by any government officer because of its remote location.

“The landslip measuring about 90m wide and 3.5km long fell from the top of Kolembi village ridge down to the river where King and Kolembi villages are located,” Siren said.

The officer is compiling a detailed report of the devastation which will be submitted to the district and provincial authorities and the national disaster office for relief assistance.

Siren said the people needed immediate relief assistance.