16 Jan 2013

Monsoon rains having serious impact on three PNG provinces

4:25 pm on 16 January 2013

Monsoon rains have had a serious impact on three of Papua New Guinea's provinces, cutting off roads, destroying food supplies, and displacing people from flooded homes.

The director of the PNG National Disaster Centre, Martin Mose, says there are reports that hundreds of people in the Mt Hagen area in the Western Highlands needing food and shelter after the Waghi River burst its banks.

He says the Morobe region has also been affected by flooding in the Wau-Bulolo area, where a section of the main highway has been cut off.

And in the neighbouring Oro Province most villages are under water, crops damaged and fuel supplies are running dangerously low.

Mr Mose says the prime minister Peter O'Neill is visiting the Oro region today to meet provincial administrators.

"We are here now to ensure that happens as soon as we have a meeting with the team here and once we sit with them then obviously we'll decide on that. But for me people who are already in need of food supplies, it will have to be effective immediately."

Martin Mose says he is dispatching disaster officials to the Mt Hagen area today to assess the needs there.