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Australian aid on the ground following PNG landslide

Australia has sent a specialist disaster team and supplies to PNG to help after a deadly landslide.

Australia has sent a specialist disaster team and supplies to PNG to help after a deadly landslide. Photo: International Organisation for Migration via Ap

An Australian disaster assistance team has landed in Papua New Guinea after a devastating landslide believed to have killed thousands.

More than 2000 people are estimated to have been buried alive in a landslide in the remote Enga province, a PNG official has told the United Nations as the country asked for international help.

An RAAF Hercules plane transported the Australian team, which specialises in incident control and logistics, Pacific Minister Pat Conroy said.

“I’m afraid to say we’re mainly in the territory of retrieving bodies rather than saving people,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.

“What we’ve got is 160 buildings across a few villages are wiped out under a landslide that’s buried them six to eight metres deep.

“The site is still very unstable with more landslides occurring.”

Around 8000 people have been displaced due to the landslide, Conroy said, as he confirmed 750 large family shelters had been transported up to the province along with food, water and sanitation.

“We’ve got 77 pallets going on RAAF aircraft that we’ve transported from our emergency warehouse in Port Moresby up to Mount Hagen today as well,” he said.

“So we are pouring huge resources into this to support what is a very grim situation.”

– AAP

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