14 Apr 2008

Simbu Governor to ask Parliament to declare a disaster zone, after landslide

7:38 pm on 14 April 2008

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Simbu province says he hopes the National Government will move quickly with recovery efforts after a massive landslide swept through the village of Gera, near Kundiawa.

The landslide on Saturday blocked the main highway, and crushed houses, four church buildings, food gardens and livestock areas.

Governor Father John Garia says he is travelling to Port Moresby tomorrow to ask Parliament to declare the area a disaster zone, and get urgent financial assistance.

He says about a thousand people have been left homeless, and have sought the help of family and friends in nearby villages.

"In the past, people or villagers there where the landslide is claim that the Works department who built the road up to the mountain didnt do drainage properly and redirected the course of the water, but the water continued to sink into the soil and now the whole mountain is continuing to move down."

The Governor of Simbu says its very unfortunate that the landslide happened in what he says is PNG's poorest province.

There have been no reported injuries so far.