23 Dec 2003

Rain in PNG affects highlands transport

4:53 pm on 23 December 2003

Heavy rains in Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands province have caused major damage to the Highlands Highway.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that a section of the highway at Kudjip collapsed leaving heavy vehicles stranded, including tankers carrying 200,000 litres of fuel for the Porgera gold mine in Enga province.

An attempt by the Department of Works to fix the damaged lane was frustrated by local landowners who used logs to effect temporary repairs and then charged vehicles to use the crossing.

The landowners claimed that as the legitimate owners of the damaged section of highway they would not allow repair work without their consent.

The paper says that eventually common sense prevailed and the repairs were carried out the next day.

Other parts of the country also reported damage caused by floods and landslides triggered by the downpour.