11 Aug 2003

600 homeless after heavy rain in PNG's New Ireland province

4:30 pm on 11 August 2003

More than 600 people in the Papua New Guinea province of New Ireland are homeless after torrential rain and a resulting landslide destroyed three villages.

Roads and bridges into the Kuluan, Kanamaradan and Mesi villages have also been destroyed and reducing access to the area by helicopter only.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office, Eric Ani, says provincial authorities have sent assessment teams into the area which has been devastated.

"Extensive damage has been caused to local food gardens and cash crops, villages are reported to be destitute and have been forced to forage for bush foods and shelter materials."

Mr Ani says at this stage international aid will not be required.