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Massive Landslide in Papua New Guinea Buries Entire Village

A devastating landslide in the remote village of Yambali in the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea has buried an entire village, resulting in a catastrophic loss of life. According to the United Nations agency International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 670 people have died, and over 2000 are feared trapped under the soil. The death toll is likely to rise as rescue efforts are hampered by the region’s inaccessibility and remoteness.

Over 2000 People Feared Trapped in the Mudslide

The disaster struck the Yambali village at around 3 a.m. local time on May 24, 2024. The village, situated at the foothills of a mountain, was buried by tonnes of rock boulders and mud that rolled down from the adjoining hilly slopes. The mud flattened more than 150 houses, where over 4000 people were asleep.

Challenging Rescue Operations

The authorities have started rescue efforts, but the remoteness of the region and the continued falling of rocks have hampered operations. With a lack of modern machinery, people are using digging sticks, spades, and agricultural forks to dig out bodies buried under the soil.

Reason for Mudslide in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a path along the Pacific Ocean characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.

While there has been no recent earthquake in the region, experts attribute the recent mudslides to the unstable nature of the steep slopes and high mountains, exacerbated by deforestation and continuous rainfall. The loosening of rocks and mud on the mountain slopes triggered the landslide.

India’s Humanitarian Aid

Expressing condolences over the loss of life and property, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced immediate humanitarian aid worth $1 million to Papua New Guinea on May 28, 2028, to aid in relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts.

About Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is an island country situated in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, with a population of around 10 million. Despite being rich in mineral resources, the country lags behind its neighboring countries in development and has one of the highest crime rates in the world.

Hundreds of tribes inhabit the country’s remote and often inaccessible terrain, hampering economic development due to the lack of roads and basic services like water, electricity, and sanitation.

Static GK:

  • Head of State: King Charles III of Britain
  • Prime Minister: James Marape
  • Capital: Port Moresby
  • Currency: Kina

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