By WALLACE KIALA
CONTINUOUS rain in the Goilala hinterlands last Thursday night caused a massive landslip cutting off the Goilala Highway.
The landslip occurred at Liliope more than 40km from the Tapini station.
The 94km Goilala Highway was re-opened less than a month ago by Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu, who, during the event, said it would be declared a national highway.
During the early hours of last Friday morning, a convoy of vehicles that was heading for Tapini from Port Moresby was stopped at around 3am at the landslip area.
At first light, locals, who had been part of the convoy, armed themselves with bush knives, sticks and spades they had carried with them cut through a path for the delegation to cross over on foot.
The delegation included Central province Governor Alphonse Moroi, who were to present a vehicle to the Tapini station.
They waded through mud and debris that was knee deep. The very cold conditions did not help.
After the vehicle presentation event at Tapini, the same group crossed back the same way along the slippery and muddy pathway at around 4pm last Friday before returning to Port Moresby.
Attempts for some work to begin on clearing up the road last Saturday afternoon by a backhoe only resulted in more soil and trees slipping off the same side of the rainforest capped mountainside.
A spokesman from the governor’s office yesterday confirmed that Saturday’s attempt to clear up this portion of the highway was called off until later this week.
It is understood the work by a local construction company that was contracted to carry out preliminary upgrading including gravelling of the highway was on hold as workers were still on Christmas break.