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According to the United Nations, over 670 people have died after a landslide hit Papua New Guinea.

Serhan Aktoprak, the chief of the UN mission in the South Pacific island nation, reported that the revised death toll, calculated by Yambali village and Enga provincial officials, was due to more than 150 homes being buried by the landslide as of Friday. The previous estimate had indicated 60 homes were affected.


“They are estimating that more than 670 people [are] under the soil at the moment,” Aktoprak said. He also noted the ongoing danger, with unstable ground and running water exacerbating the risk for everyone involved.

Emergency responders have been relocating survivors to safer areas as unstable earth and the threat of tribal warfare complicated rescue operations. Justine McMahon from CARE Australia highlighted the difficulties, mentioning that damage to infrastructure and a blocked main road have hindered relief efforts. 

The landslide, a mix of boulders, uprooted trees, and earth, has devastated the region, destroying livestock, food gardens, and clean water sources. The government is working to establish evacuation centers and has faced challenges from blocked roads and tribal conflicts.

Government authorities are expected to decide soon whether to request additional international aid, with the United States and Australia already expressing their readiness to assist further.


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