Severe flooding in eastern Papua New Guinea (PNG) caused by a tropical cyclone has killed over 160 people, destroyed 1000 homes and left thousands of people displaced. Heavy rain has washed away roads and tracks in a remote mountainous region, hindering relief efforts and leaving many without food supplies.
Aid flights into the region have been assisted by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), which is flying supplies from Mount Hagen and Goroka, to Girua and Tufi villages in the devastated Oro province. Mike Jelliffe, MAF director in PNG, writes, ‘Reports from along the coast are of village houses and coconut trees washed away; and groups of people swimming up swollen rivers trying to reach a safer place, with some not making it’.
MAF, which normally only operates in the western part of PNG, is working closely with the Australian Defence Force (ADF). As a result of the floods, many people are ill, and medical facilities in the area are overflowing.