Landslips block highway

National, Normal


PROLONGED rain has played havoc on the Highlands Highway yet again.
The highway was cut off over the weekend in the Eastern Highlands province following a landslide.
Mudslides and debris flowed onto the road from Lurape creek at Watabung, cutting off the highway for almost two days.
Eastern Highlands provincial police commander Chief Supt Augustine Wampe said Goroka policemen were engaged full time to negotiate with disgruntled landowners who complained of destruction to allow for clearance work to commence.
He said Covec Construction and Works employees worked around the clock on Saturday, and by 4pm, access was restored.
He thanked the people of Lurape for their cooperation with police, Works officers and Covec Construction to allow for smooth clearance work.
Chief Supt Wampe issued a warning to highway travellers not to travel in the night as the rains continue.
“The Daulo Pass and Watabung sections of the highway are prone to land and mudslides and I call on people not to travel at nights, as you can expect the unexpected.”
He said mud and debris continued to flow on to the highway as rain continued.
The three blockages, two at Watabung and one at Daulo Pass, were cleared by Covec using machines kept at their base at Watabung.