Watch video: Major landslide strikes in Papua New Guinea, over 670 feared dead

UN official Serhan Aktoprak attributed this to underestimating the village's population. "There are an estimated 150-plus houses now buried," Aktoprak stated, "with 670-plus people assumed dead."

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New Delhi: A massive landslide has struck a village in Papua New Guinea's Enga province, leaving a trail of devastation. The UN migration agency estimates over 670 people are dead, with hundreds more missing and displaced. Rescue efforts continue under perilous conditions, with survivors facing a desperate struggle for food, water, and shelter.

Death toll rises as search continues

Initial reports placed the death toll at 100-300, but the figure has been tragically revised upwards. UN official Serhan Aktoprak attributed this to underestimating the village's population. "There are an estimated 150-plus houses now buried," Aktoprak stated, "with 670-plus people assumed dead."

The once-thriving village now lies buried under a mass of earth and debris. Survivors are using basic tools like digging sticks and shovels to search for their loved ones.

Displaced over 1,000 people

The landslide has displaced over 1,000 people, leaving them with limited access to food and clean water. Food gardens and water supplies have been almost completely wiped out, exacerbating the dire situation.

Aid efforts face challenges

Delivering aid to the affected area is hampered by a combination of factors. The landslide itself has blocked access routes, requiring a "security escort" from the Papua New Guinea military due to unrelated tribal fighting. The rugged terrain and ongoing risk of further landslides further complicate rescue efforts.

Race against time

Heavy machinery is expected to arrive on Sunday, bolstering the search for survivors. However, time is running out as the window for finding those trapped under the debris shrinks.

Landslide risk factors

The cause of the landslide is suspected to be heavy rainfall that has saturated the region. Papua New Guinea experiences some of the world's heaviest precipitation, with the highlands bearing the brunt of the downpours.

A Call for international support

Papua New Guinea is grappling with a humanitarian crisis. International assistance is crucial to providing emergency relief, supporting survivors, and preventing further loss of life.