6 Sep 2005

Heavy rain sparks flood warnings in PNG's Morobe province

3:41 pm on 6 September 2005

Heavy rain today in the Papua New Guinean province of Morobe is prompting officials to warn of more damaging floods.

The local disaster management office says it's working on cautions to be issued to the public.

Flooding in the past fortnight has swept away people, homes and food garden, and also held up traffic around the city of Lae.

The Morobe governor, Luther Wenge, says rapid deforestation in high areas has contributed to higher and faster runoff which has flooded lower areas.

"This flood is occurring because there is substantial erosion causing big flood, and wiping out as it comes down, and wiping out the settlement and all those places so my best advice to them, and that has been confirmed by scientists, is that we need to plant more trees up."

Damage to the Lae seafront, caused by rising tides, has been estimated at almost 200,000 US dollars.