Landslide blocks off Highlands Highway

A landslide along the Highlands Highway has cut off access for vehicles, forcing hundreds of travelers to walk by foot around the disaster area.

The landslide at Guo, which is five minutes from Kundiawa Town, Chimbu, completely shut off the highway yesterday (Saturday) after continuous rain.

CEO of Kombri and Associates Lawyers, Martin Kombri, who is on the ground, told Loop PNG that the landslide began in the early hours of Friday morning however, part of the road was still accessible.

It was early in the evening of Saturday that the Guo section of the Okuk Highway was ruined.

Kombri says an estimated 1 kilometre of soil from the top of the Guo area and an estimated 1.2 kilometres of soil from the bottom slipped off. This has forced buses and trucks to turn away and camp at Kundiawa.

The landslip has cut off part of the Kundiawa and Gembogl District and Kerowaghi in Chimbu Province, and the whole of Jiwaka, Western Highlands, Southern Highlands, Hela and Enga provinces.

The incident also blocked off commuters and travelers from Morobe Province Madang and Eastern Highlands.

Kombri tells Loop PNG that police personnel, from Kundiawa and the Mobile Squad 08 from Kerowaghi, are on the ground to monitor the situation.

(Pictures: Martin Kombri)

Cedric Patjole