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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Caritas agencies on the ground assessing devastation in Papua New Guinea

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Papua new guinea landslide - The Catholic weekly
A person reacts as an area is cleared at the site of a landslide in Yambali village, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, 27 May, 2024. A Papua New Guinea government official has told the United Nations that more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by the 24 May landslide and has formally asked for international help. (OSV News photo/UNDP Papua New Guinea handout via Reuters)

Remote communities in Papua New Guinea have been devastated by a catastrophic landslide that struck the Enga province at 3am on 24 May. The timing of the landslide meant most people were sleeping at the time of the disaster, with little time to escape.

Hundreds are feared dead, with the United Nations estimating that at least 670 people may have lost their lives with fears this toll could reach the thousands. The total population of the entire affected ward is near 4,000 people, but this number could be higher due to an increased number of displaced people living in the area in recent times.

The ongoing search and rescue operations are facing challenges due to the hazardous terrain and the continuous threat of landslides, resulting in slower progress. The affected area remains highly unstable, which is hampering search and rescue efforts.

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As rescue efforts continue, those who have lost their homes will urgently need food, shelter and clean water in the weeks and months ahead.

Caritas Australia’s partners on-the-ground in Papua New Guinea are currently conducting a rapid needs assessment in the affected villages to determine the most urgent priorities.

The recovery is expected to be long, and food, shelter and clean water are amongst the most urgent needs for people who have lost their homes because of the landslide.

Caritas Australia has launched an appeal to support partners on the ground and those affected by the devastation. Donations can be made at or by calling 1800 024 413 toll free.

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