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Over 2000 buried in Papua New Guinea de.adly landslide

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A de.adly landslide which villagers in Papua New Guinea say struck like “an exploding bomb” may have buried more than 2,000 people alive, a government agency fears

Over 2000 buried in Papua New Guinea de.adly landslide

The figure – provided by the acting director of the country’s National Disaster Centre – is far higher than the 670 the United Nations (UN) suggested over the weekend.

Exact casualty figures for the disaster, which tore through the village in the early hours of Friday, have been difficult to establish.

Desperate attempts to rescue survivors or remove bodies from the rubble have so far been hindered by rubble 10m (32ft) deep in some places, blocked access and a lack of adequate equipment.

But on the ground, hopes are fading for the mountain residents swept up in the disaster in Enga province.

“Nobody escaped. We don’t know who died because records are buried,” a schoolteacher from a neighbouring village, Jacob Sowai, told news agency AFP.

Standing in the wreckage of the disaster – which extends for close to a kilometre – Evit Kambu said she felt helpless.

“I have 18 of my family members buried under the debris and soil that I am standing on, and a lot more family members in the village I cannot count,” she told the Reuters news agency.

Lasen Iso told local newspaper The National it had struck “like an exploding bomb in a split second”, while Eddie Peter said she watched it rush towards her home “like a sea wave”.

“My husband turned back as our four children were sleeping. I fled and they were all trapped and killed,” she told the newspaper.

About 3,800 people had been living in the area prior to the disaster.