Recovery Efforts Continue after Papua New Guinea Landslide, over 2,000 Feared Dead 

The massive landslide that occurred in Yambali village, Enga Province is among the deadliest disasters to strike Papua New Guinea in recent times. Photo: IOM 2024 

Geneva/ Port Moresby, 28 May – After the devastating landslide that struck Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, on 24 May, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), local authorities, UN and other partners are rapidly mobilizing to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis.   

According to the country’s National Disaster Centre, over 2,000 people are buried under the rubble after the massive landslide, triggered by heavy rains - marking one of the deadliest disasters in the country’s recent history.  

"The scale of this disaster is truly heartbreaking,” said Serhan Aktoprak, IOM Chief of Mission in Papua New Guinea. “We are coordinating with local authorities and international partners to help those affected, as thousands of people have lost their homes and belongings in the blink of an eye.”  

The landslide, which occurred at approximately 3:00 am local time engulfed the area, burying homes, infrastructure and farmland under up to eight metres of soil and debris. Only six bodies have been recovered so far.  

According to provincial authorities over 7,840 people have been affected by the disaster so far, including those confirmed dead or missing and 1,650 displaced people. Many of the displaced had previously sought refuge in the area to escape tribal conflict, underscoring the vulnerability of the population.  

"The challenges we face in the aftermath of this tragedy are immense," Aktoprak emphasized. "The area remains extremely dangerous due to ongoing land movement, and access is hindered by blocked roads, damaged infrastructure, and adverse weather conditions."  

With many bodies still to be recovered from beneath the rubble, there is concern that underground water flowing down the mountain will contaminate local drinking water sources, posing serious health risks.  

Most of the area’s sources of clean drinking water have become inaccessible due to the landslide.   

This morning a bridge connecting Enga province to neighbouring Western Highlands province collapsed, further hampering the delivery of supplies and assistance to affected communities.   

Recognizing the urgency of the situation and scale of the disaster, the National Disaster Centre requested immediate international assistance from the UN.  The emergency response will target the most pressing humanitarian needs, including the distribution of food, provision of shelter, emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance, as well as logistical support and protection measures.  


For more information, please contact:  

In Geneva:     

In Bangkok: Itayi Viriri, IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, at   

In Port Moresby: Anne Mandal, IOM Papua New Guinea, at