More Than 2000 Killed During Horrific Landslide

( Initial death tolls for a landslide in Papua New Guinea were estimated at more than 100, but there are now reportedly 2,000 people buried within the two story-high debris. The landslide occurred on May 24 in a remote village. During the landslide, giant rocks and trees were upended while more than 150 houses were buried.

An estimated 4,000 people have been living in the remote mountain villages that were impacted by the landslide. One resident said she has 18 family members buried within the debris and several more in the village that she couldn’t begin to count. She said she feels helpless because there is no way for her to uncover the bodies of her buried friends and family.

More than three days following the landslide, people were chipping and digging at the soil in an attempt to recover bodies from the soil. As of May 27, only five bodies have been recovered. Large machines and aid workers are attempting to gain access to the remote village, but there are warring tribes and violence nearby that is requiring strategic travel arrangements. The nearby conflict caused eight deaths and 30 houses to burn down the day after the landslide.

The affected area is the size of four football fields and smaller landslides continue to occur while rescue efforts are underway. There is little hope left to save people that are buried within the mud and debris. The rescue efforts are also thwarted by the collapse of a nearby bridge, which is requiring a longer route for machinery and workers to get to the site.

Complete evacuation has been ordered from the area, which is estimated to be 7,849 people. Authorities have asked for geological engineers to assess the landscape as rescue efforts continue. With continued instability and small landslides actively occurring, it is requiring rescue workers to move carefully as they attempt to recover the buried people.

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