By YVONNE HAIP
THE rumblings that woke a family of five from their sleep saved them from being buried alive by a landslide in Mt Hagen’s Wara Kala yesterday.
Wena Paulus Gende, two carpenters and his son rushed out at 5am after some soil tumbled onto their Gomis barracks settlement house.
Within a minute, they saw tonnes of soil collapsing from a man-made precipice, partially burying their house.
Mr Gende said they were awakened by rumblings caused by soil tumbling down on to the back of the house.
“We were lucky to have been able to get out fast.
“We watched the landslide coming down, burying our house and the pit toilet,” he said.
He blamed the regular rains since early last year for the landslip.
“There had been other similar incidents.”
He said this was not the first time for such an incident to happen as other houses and properties belonging to urban settlers had previously been destroyed, and an Engan man was buried alive in another landslip some time back.
Mr Gende said landslides were a major concern for settlers but they could not relocate due to shortage of land.
“My only option is to rebuild my house at the nearby Kala River, even though it is risky to reside there.
“There are also many other issues affecting settlers due to the rainy season like the lack of clean water supply because the Kala River was often flooded and dirty,” he said.