PM Modi offers aid to Papua New Guinea as landslide buries 2,000: ‘India ready’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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PM Modi offers aid to Papua New Guinea as landslide buries 2,000: ‘India ready’

May 28, 2024 12:58 PM IST

Papua New Guinea landslide: India extended an immediate relief assistance of USD 1 million to support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea that has buried over 2,000 people and affected thousands more after a mountain collapsed in the northern region.

File: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Papua New Guinea PM James Marape.(Twitter/MEAIndia)
File: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Papua New Guinea PM James Marape.(Twitter/MEAIndia)

"Deeply saddened by the loss of lives and damage caused by the devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea. Our heartfelt condolences to the affected families and prayers for a speedy recovery of the injured," PM Modi said in an X post. He added that India is ready to offer all possible support and assistance.

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The government has extended immediate relief assistance of USD 1 million.

“As a close friend and partner under the Forurn for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) and as a gesture of solidarity with the friendly people of Papua New Guinea, Government of India extends an immediate relief assistance of USD 1 million to support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts,” a government statement said.

Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate the path of the still-active landslide on Tuesday. Relief teams have been slowly reaching the difficult-to-access northern Enga region since Friday, though officials said the chances of finding survivors are slim. Residents have been using shovels and bare hands to search for survivors.

ALSO READ- More than 2,000 people buried alive in landslide, Papua New Guinea govt tells UN

'Landslide still active'

Enga provincial administrator Sandis Tsaka said the disaster could yet worsen. "The tragedy is still active," he told AFP. "Every hour you can hear rock breaking -- it is like a bomb or gunshot and the rocks keep falling down."

ALSO READ- Watch: Papua New Guinea's Marape touches PM Modi's feet. BJP reacts

A satellite image shows buried homes after the landslide in Yambali village, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, May 27, 2024. (Maxar Technologies via REUTERS)
A satellite image shows buried homes after the landslide in Yambali village, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, May 27, 2024. (Maxar Technologies via REUTERS)

Papua New Guinea landslide | 5 points

1. Military personnel have set up checkpoints and are helping move residents to evacuation centres.

2. Heavy equipment and aid are slow to arrive because of the remote location, difficult terrain, and tribal unrest, forcing military escorts for relief teams.

3. UN officials stated it is "very unlikely" more victims will be found alive, shifting the focus from rescue to recovery. It is not a rescue mission, it is a recovery mission," UNICEF Papua New Guinea's Niels Kraaier said.

ALSO READ- Landslide forces closure of iconic Southern California chapel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's son

4. Satellite images reveal the vast scale of the disaster, with debris cutting through the bushland and severing the region's only road.

5. As Papua New Guinea government held meeting with allies for help in rescue mission, Australia, China, and the US have offered millions in aid and support.

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