More survivors found

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A GROUP of five including three children were rescued from the Sarawaget Range on Sunday.
The five were airlifted by pilot Capt Jürgen Ruh to Lae from Ogau village, located on the border of Nawaeb and Kabwum in Morobe.
Health extension officer in charge of Manolos Aviation’s Mama Medevac programme Pendek Sitong told The National the children and two adults, from Zunzunmao in Dedua had gone without food for four days.
“They trekked from Ogau and were on their way to Sarawaget but couldn’t make it. They spent four days there without food and water.
“Their vitals are stable however the children are traumatised,” she said.
According to Manolos Aviation Ltd, two people were rescued on Aug 17, eight on Aug 18, eleven on Aug 19, one on Thursday (Aug 22), five on Sunday and yesterday one more survivor was picked up.
This brings the total number of people rescued to 28.
Locals from Geraoun village in Kabwum, who had been searching for the deceased and survivors, said there might be more people missing between Ogau village and Marambi area in the Sarawaget Range, but the total number, and whether they were alive or not, was unknown.
Vincent Kowang told The National at Sarawaget Range on Saturday they were relieved that Manolos had helped with the search and rescue.
“We walked on foot for days looking for the deceased and we piled them at one spot,” he said.
We also found one survivor (15-year-old Naomi Kayak) but we don’t know who will pick them up and bring them to Lae.”
“We decided to walk back to Indagen to call for help from Lae. We were camping at Snake Creek on Thursday when the helicopter landed and dropped off a search party from Manolos.
“That was when we informed the pilot (Ruh) that the bodies had been found and were ready to be airlifted,” Kowang said.
Erick Gerewa, who carried Kayak from Zamalulu area to Snake Creek on Sarawaget Range, before she was airlifted to Lae, said many of the deceased weren’t prepared for the weather and the cold.
“Naomi might be the last of the survivors found in the range. Most of the deceased weren’t aware of the cold. Many people couldn’t make it past the Marambi and Zamalulu area because of the thick forest and steep terrain, so they retreated to Ogau village,” Gerewa said.
Kowang said they found nearly all the deceased trekkers, however on Friday they found the corpse of an old man, which nobody had sighted.
“There are many still missing in the Marambi area where the trekkers that made it to Indagen did not see,” Kowang said.
“Our search will continue until Wednesday.”

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