Australia and New Zealand send aid to Papua New Guinea

More than 2,000 people have been buried in a devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea, local officials say. Two neighboring countries pledge support worth millions.

Australia and New Zealand have pledged millions in aid to people in disaster-stricken Papua New Guinea. Last weekend in the remote highland province of Enga, a massive landslide buried an entire village. According to local civil defense, at least 2,000 people were buried under the rubble.

Australia has now announced that it will provide 2.5 million Australian dollars (1.5 million euros) in humanitarian aid. New Zealand pledged 1.5 million New Zealand dollars (850,000 euros) on Tuesday. “As a close neighbor and friend, we will do all we can,” Australian Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles wrote in X. Australian Defense Forces provided assistance coordination with their counterparts in Papua New Guinea.

The earth is still moving

However, the area is still difficult to reach. The rescue mission is very dangerous as the earth is still moving. 8,000 people in the area must be urgently evacuated because of the threat of further landslides, UN expert Matt Bagosi of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on the ground told the BBC.

Videos show rotting residents rubbing their faces with a yellow paste made from mud as a sign of mourning in parts of Papua New Guinea. An elderly woman from the community of Ewit Gambu told the BBC that 18 family members were buried under several meters of stones and dirt. Countless friends from her village were also buried. She feels completely helpless. Many helpers dug through the mud with their bare hands and shovels – but almost always in vain. So far, very few victims have reportedly been rescued. (APA/dpa)

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