World Council of Churches expresses grave concern over landslide in Papua New Guinea

Posted May 28, 2024

[World Council of Churches] World Council of Churches general secretary the Rev. Jerry Pillay expressed grave concern in the wake of a landslide in Papua New Guinea that has killed at least 670 people, according to United Nations reports.

The landslide hit a rural region of the island nation on May 24, but search-and-rescue efforts have been hampered by difficulty in reaching the disaster site and by the hazard that the shifting ground continues to pose. Aid convoys are delivering relief supplies but face challenging conditions. As of May 26, land was still sliding, rocks were falling, and the soil was cracking from increased pressure and running groundwater.

Papua New Guinea government reports that more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by the landslide. The region is densely populated, according to local reports, and has a young population. Authorities fear that many of the fatalities will be children under 15.

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