Yasi vents fury on Popondetta

Main Stories, National

The National- Friday, February 4, 2011


POPONDETTA in Northern is without water after the Bango River flooded its banks and washed away the town’s dam following heavy rain since Wednesday night.

Reports said rain was still pouring yesterday with local police stepping up patrols to deter opportunists and looters.

The National Weather Service had confirmed that the heavy rains experienced in Popondetta and other parts of Oro and Milne Bay were directly related to Cyclone Yasi.

Weather service acting director forecasting and warning centre Jimmy Gomoga yesterday said Popondetta, the Owen Stanley Ranges and Milne Bay’s Misima and Rossel Islands were experiencing rain bands.

Gomoga said: “This may also suggest continuous rain in the days ahead.”

Oro provincial disaster office acting coordinator Lawrence Baisa said the town’s water supply had been cut off after the dam was destroyed.

He also reported the flooding of Kausada village along the North Coast but there was no casualty.

“The flood waters have risen to post levels with every good gardens destroyed.”

Baisa said the creek next to the St Margaret’s School of Nursing was flooded but there were no reports of any infrastructural damages.

“Although the Girua River is flowing dangerously fast, the bridge and airport have not been affected,” he said.

The provincial administration was arranging a vehicle for Baisa to visit the affected areas and assess the damages.

Popondetta police station commander Insp Noboya Zozowa had instructed his men to stay on full alert following rumours of possible looting and other crimes.

PNG Water technicians were understood to have retrieved the main raw water pump and were trying to get it repaired.

“While that is going on, there will be no water supply for the township for an indefinite period,” Baisa said.

“Fortunately, we have not received reports of any casualties.”