By Edwin Fidelis – EM TV, Lae
At around 3pm yesterday, traffic travelling along the Lae and Bulolo highway came to a standstill as Kumalo River flooded its bank again.
Commuters, returning from Bulolo and Lae, crossed over on foot, desperate to return home.
Youths from the area set up a temporary bypass, and collected K50 from every vehicle that crosses over.
This morning, the situation had not changed much since yesterday.
“People and vehicles have been stranded on both sides since yesterday. They can’t cross over…some are attempting to cross over, but it’s risky”, said Gaiko Mathias, a Kumalu resident.
Since yesterday, four people nearly drowned and were rescued by onlookers.
More than 10 years ago, Kumalo buried the township of Mumeng.
It has caused the death of many people who have attempted to cross the river.
The river is also responsible for the delay of supplies going to Bulolo and Wau and millions of kina have been put into rebuilding this section of the Lae-Bulolo highway.
At the other section of the Kumalo, a K15 million bypass is still under construction that will help ease the problems caused by Kumalo.
Flooding may have subsided, but if it rains again tonight, the situation might get worse tomorrow.