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Port Moresby
February 28, 2021
Emergency News Papua New Guinea

Natural Disasters: Nationwide Appeal

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In the past 2 weeks, heavy downpour in various parts of the Southern Highlands Province has resulted in the blockage of vital road links, due to numerous landslides and flooding. This has affected service delivery and the daily moveMen’s of people at impacted sites.

And just 5 days ago, the Purari River banks exploded, wreaking havoc on at least 6 villages in the Western Province, causing significant inundation that swept away houses and everything else, leaving nothing but a wet path. At present, there are still no confirmed details of casualties.


The river system of the Purari has never been fully understood, due to its complexity and unpredictable state, especially when frequent rainfall happens.


The same could be said for PNG’s mountainous and rugged terrain in the Highlands, as it currently is enduring heavy downpours. Recently, Southern Highlands was hit with a number of landslides coupled with flooding that severely hindered road services. In the Western Province, at least 6 villages were engulfed in massive flooding.


Southern Highlands Governor and Member for Kikori, Mark Maipakai, have called on relevant Government agencies to assist their respective people.


The network of rivers from Southern Highlands share a common pathway that eventually leads to the Purari and with more rainfall confirmed by the Papua New Guinea Weather Service, one can expect more adverse effects.


InterOil has confirmed its support for the Purari inundation in the context of the National Disaster Centre’s strategy by delivering immediate care packages to Wabo in the form of medical supplies, food and limited shelter, using their air assets.


Attempts to get an update from NDC regarding the Southern Highlands disaster and on-ground relief supplies into Purari area, have been unsuccessful.


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