27 Jan 2012

Call for independent probe into landslide in PNG's Southern Highlands

3:31 pm on 27 January 2012

A Papua New Guinea NGO has called for an independent investigation into the cause of Tuesday's huge landslide in Southern Highlands province.

Reports from the affected area, between Nogoli and Hides, say the number of people buried could be as high as 60.

The landslide occurred within the parameters of Exxon Mobil's Liquified Natural Gas project site.

Many locals are blaming the multi-billion dollar project for the landslide, saying a nearby quarry used for the project involved explosives which unsettled the earth.

Stanley Mamu of LNG Watch says it needs to be independently established whether the project increased the risk of the landslide.

"Mount Gigira, it's a kind of a range; people are sleeping along that place all the way to Hides 1, 2 3 and 4 (numbers refer to Petroleum Development License areas) and then down to Komo. So that thing (the landslide) might happen again. So to stop that incident happening in the future, I want these people to come in and do the investigation."

Stanley Mamu of LNG Watch