More than 300 buried in Papua New Guinea landslide: Reports

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More than 300 people and over 1,100 houses were buried by a massive landslide that levelled a remote village in northern Papua New Guinea, local media reported on Saturday.

Hundreds are feared dead in the landslide that hit Kaokalam village in Enga Province, about 600 km (370 miles) northwest of capital Port Moresby, around 3 a.m. on Friday (1900 GMT on Thursday).

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The landslide in the Pacific nation north of Australia buried more than 300 people and 1,182 houses, the Papua New Guinea Post Courier said, citing comments from a member of the country’s parliament, Aimos Akem. Akem did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment via social media.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp reported on Saturday that four bodies had been retrieved from the area after emergency teams reached the sparsely populated area, where the death toll is expected to rise.

The landslide has blocked highway access, making helicopters the only way to reach the area, the broadcaster reported.

Social media footage posted by villager Ninga Role showed people clambering over rocks, uprooted trees and mounds of dirt searching for survivors. Women could be heard weeping in the background.

Prime Minister James Marape has said disaster officials, the Defence Force and the Department of Works and Highways were assisting with relief and recovery efforts.

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