19 Nov 2007

Dozens said to have been killed by flooding in Oro Province in PNG

6:05 am on 19 November 2007

Dozens of people are reported to have died and others missing after widespread flooding in Papua New Guinea destroyed about 450 houses.

Disaster officials have yet to gain access to Oro province to confirm figures, but some reports put the death toll as high as 70

Thousands of villagers were forced from their homes in the east of the region by flood waters up to 3 and a half metres high.

The floods, caused by a week of heavy rain associated with Cyclone Guba, also washed away roads, bridges and food gardens.

Up to 70 thousand people are thought to have been affected.

A PNG defence force aircraft is due to fly to the province's main town of Popondetta later today carrying relief supplies and government officials who will survey the damage.