A map of Papua New Giunea
28 May 2024

After the Papua New Guinea Landslide: Over 670 Feared Dead


More than 670 people are estimated to have perished in the massive May 24 landslide in Papua New Guinea, according to the UN’s migration agency, IOM.

Survivors were being moved to safer ground on Sunday, May 26,  however, hopes of finding more survivors beneath several meters of soil have dwindled.

"They estimate that more than 670 people are currently buried," said Serhan Aktoprak of the UN’s migration agency IOM in Papua New Guinea on Sunday, referencing calculations from the Yambali community and Enga province.

More than 150 homes are believed to have been buried.

The landslide almost entirely wiped out  the village of Yambali in the highlands of Enga province just before dawn on Friday. Rescue efforts are being hampered by unstable ground and fighting that has broken out along the only remaining road into the disaster area, he said, emphasizing that the violence "is not related to the landslide."

Papua New Guinea’s government is considering whether to request international aid to manage the situation.

Initially, local authorities estimated that around 100 people might have died.

Larger machinery has not yet reached the area, which is about 600 kilometers from the capital, Port Moresby.

The Yambali community previously had nearly 4,000 inhabitants.

The BBC and many other international media has more information.