Locals want PM to visit site

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday November 5th, 2013

 By ZACHERY PER in Daulo Top

VICTIMS of the landslide in Eastern Highlands want Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Works Minister Francis Awesa to personally attend to the disaster.

They have stopped the crossing of cargo and people in the area out of respect for their loved ones still buried under the debris.

Barano Landslip Disaster Working Committee chairman Jack Kuraipa said O’Neill and Awesa  must go there to experience what they were going through. Kuraipa and his deputy, Kamsi Kiagi said they felt for their nine people who are believed dead.

The bodies of eight missing people still had not been found yesterday. “We require urgent Government assistance to retrieve the bodies and to help repatriate displaced families and to comfort victims who lost thousands of kina worth of property in the landslide,” Kuraipa said.

He said no work to clear the debris would take place while their loved ones were still buried there. The situation remains the same as of Sunday after the landslide struck on Saturday night. 

The Highlands Highway remains cut off for a third day and is likely to remain shut for the next few days, while the people there await Government intervention.

All trucking companies have already grounded their vehicles, while PMV operators, especially betel nut vendors and commuters, have been stranded on both sides of the road.