An elderly woman has been pronounced dead, while a mother and her three children are still buried underground.
This follows after a huge landslide which occurred around 1am on Monday 27th of December at Topa village, Mendi in Southern Highlands Province.
The villagers dug up the ground with spades and sticks and found the body of the elderly woman however could not save her.
Search is continuing as villagers attempt to remove piled up stones and muds.
According to a Munhiu Primary School teacher, Henson Akop, villagers are still gathering at the incident site to find missing persons.
“We need assistance from the Provincial Government and District leaders to provide excavators to remove the ground and huge stones. We are still using spades and a sticks to look for missing people but it’s not enough”, Akop said.
He said they were all confused as to what had caused the landslide as the area had been experiencing dry weather conditions.
15 houses were destroyed including 30 vegetable gardens and more than 20 people have been left homeless after the landslide hit Topa village.
Other homes belonging to the Pind and Kemp tribes in Topa village suffered major damage as well.
The body of the elderly woman was taken to the Mendi General Hospital and is now in the morgue.