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Papua New Guinea Says Friday’s Landslide Buried More Than 2,000 People

A Papua New Guinea government official has told the United Nations that more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by last Friday’s landslide and has formally asked for international help.

The government figure is roughly triple the U.N. estimate of 670 killed by the landslide in the South Pacific island nation’s mountainous interior. The remains of only five people had been recovered by Monday, local authorities reported.

It was not immediately clear why the tally of six reported on Sunday had been revised down.

In a letter seen by The Associated Press to the United Nations resident coordinator dated Sunday, the acting director of the country’s National Disaster Center, Luseta Laso Mana, said the landslide “buried more than 2,000 people alive” and caused “major destruction” in Yambali village in Enga province.

Estimates of the casualties have varied widely since the disaster occurred, and it was not immediately clear how officials arrived the number of people affected.

The International Organization for Migration, which is working closely with the government and taking a leading role in the international response, has not changed its estimated death toll of 670 released on Sunday, pending new evidence.

Read more here from ABC News. 

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