9 Feb 2012

PNG National Disaster Centre identifies rainfall as trigger for Tumbi landslide

12:10 pm on 9 February 2012

Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Centre has released a report into last month's Tumbi landslide in Hela region.

The report identifies heavy rainfall as the trigger for the landslide which is believed to have killed at least 25 people.

Johnny Blades reports.

"The NDC report makes recommendations for officials in ongoing efforts to collect accurate data about the landslide, secure the area from further geohazards or social unrest, as well as assist local people in trauma counselling and relocation where necessary. Contrary to media reports, it says no bodies have yet been recovered. The report only briefly mentions the Tumbi quarry, which had been used by Exxon Mobil for its major Liquefied Natural Gas project. Many locals have blamed activity at the quarry for unsettling the earth. However the report states that naturally high geological weaknesses assisted by abnormally high rainfall combined to cause subsidence next to the quarry, triggering the landslide."