Landslide in the Southern Highlands of PNG

Updated 31 January 2012: On Tuesday 24 January at 6am there was a large landslide near Hides in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The landslide displaced three million cubic metres of earth that covered an area of 9.5 hectares. At present there is no reliable information on the number of dead or injured.

Australia immediately offered assistance to the PNG Government following the landslide and has been in constant contact with authorities since the incident occurred.

At the request of the PNG Government, Australia supported an assessment team to the affected area on 25 January to scope the extent of the damage and determine the needs of the affected community.

The team was led by representatives of the PNG National Disaster Centre and was joined by two Australian High Commission staff, one from AusAID's Emergency Response Team and one from the Australian Defence Force with civil engineering experience.

The team completed a rapid assessment of the landslide site and delivered a report to the PNG Government on 26 January.

Following the report the PNG Government requested Australia provide emergency relief supplies. Australia has responded quickly, providing relief items including tarpaulins, collapsible water containers and water purification tablets to affected communities.

These items arrived at the affected area on Sunday 29 January and are being distributed by the provincial disaster coordination office.

The PNG Government has also requested Australian assistance in providing trauma counselling to those affected by the landslide and AusAID is working closely with the PNG Government to ensure that this is made available.

Australia will provide further assistance if requested by the PNG Government.