Monday, March 6, 2023

Flooding, landslides in WNB

March 6, 2023 The National PNG

Houses affected by flooding.

Homes churches and schools have been hit with flooded, with landslides closing off roads and displacing families as the National Weather Service issues a strong wind and thunderstorm warning for the next 24 hours in West New Britain.

Governor Sasindran Muthuvel told The National yesterday that the provincial government was working with provincial disaster office, to assess the damage and respond to the disaster.

“Some homes, churches and schools are submerged in water, including roads while some roads are blocked off with debris, we are also working with Provincial Department of Works and Highway to help clear some roads.

“Some private road construction companies and local youths are also helping us clear roads.

“We have a full team deployed to collect data on the damages but if the rain continues for the next 24 hours, then we may be looking at an even bigger disaster with not only floods but landslides as well,” he said.

Talasea MP, Freddie Reu Kumai had written to the Prime Minister James Marape to direct all relevant Government departments and entities to support and provide relief supplies and accessories for displaced families in affected communities.

“Particularly for Talasea Rural local level governemnt (LLG) and within Kimbe Urban LLG.

“Generally, the roads are greatly affected, in the last 24 hours, heavy rains have caused a total washout of the main Talasea-Kimbe Highway.

“In Kimbe town, a road in ward four was washed away with parts of the main highway closed off with debris from the flood and landslides,” Kumai said.

He also said that many families were displaced by flooding and landslides.

“In ward one area of Talasea Rural covering Kumbago Plantation, Dagi LSS and Nahavio settlements, it is a complete washout with more than 500 families displaced, another 600 families at Aling and more than 150 families in Gigo settlement are all displaced.”

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a 24 hour strong winds warning of up to 33 knots and thunderstorms for the province.

National Weather Service duty forecaster Peter Warupi told The National that strong winds and rain would continue for the next 24 hours, as the country hit the peak of its wet season.

“There was also a tropical low near the Coral Sea area over the last couple of weeks that added on to this.

“We have also issued a warning to small craft owners,” he said.

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