Access is a challenge with more than 4,000 people impacted by deadly landslide in Enga, Papua New Guinea

26 May 2024


CARE's Justine McMahon speaks with Sky News

CARE is deeply saddened by the news of a landslide which occurred early on Friday morning of 24 May in Enga Province, in the northern region of Papua New Guinea. The landslide, which occurred at 3am PNG time in Yambali Village, took place in a remote area. Highway access near Yambali Village is obstructed, which will likely take considerable time to clear. This will hinder assessment and relief efforts.

Despite the challenges, the Enga Provincial Administration was quick to deploy a team comprising the Provincial Disaster Management Office, the Enga Provincial Health Authority, the Provincial Police Force, the PNG Defense Force, and United Nations agencies (International Organization for Migration and UNDP) to assess the situation.

Yambali Ward in Enga Province has been severely affected. Reports from the authorities are that sadly, over 60 homes have been destroyed, and at present, all members of these households remain unaccounted for. More homes could be at risk if the landslide continues down the mountain, particularly in Lapak Ward and Kaundak Ward (both in Enga Province).

There are nearly 4,000 people living in the areas where the landslide occurred, however the total number of those affected is likely to be higher, as Yambali Village has been a place of refuge for those displaced by conflicts in nearby wards and villages.

The landslide has debris between 6 metres and 8 metres deep, and over 200 square kilometres of land has been affected, including 150 metres of the main highway into Enga Province. As the only highway into Enga, this is making relief efforts difficult.

Justine McMahon, CARE Papua New Guinea Director, said:

“Many of the houses are buried under eight metres of dirt so if the land doesn’t stabilise then it has to be done predominantly by hand then that will take a significant amount of time. The vast majority of houses are made out of bush materials so they’re not strong [enough] to withstand a small landslide, let alone something of this scale.”

Those affected, urgently need supplies of food, water and shelter. CARE is meeting with humanitarian partners to discuss the ongoing impact and the need for response, and stands ready to support the government-led response as appropriate.

CARE has worked in Enga over the years in humanitarian, development and peace-building projects. Such work forms part of CARE’s broader work throughout the highlands region of Papua New Guinea, across natural disaster preparedness and response, health, gender equality and livelihood promotion.

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For media enquiries, please contact David Moore, Media Officer at CARE International UK,

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