Death Toll estimates at least 100 people killed by landslide in Papua New Guinea

Landslide-in-PNG

Important Takeaways:

  • Authorities in the South Pacific Island nation have not confirmed the death toll, which was reported by Australian media, and which villagers said could be much higher.
  • The landslide reportedly hit Kaokalam village in Enga province, about 370 miles northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, at roughly 3 a.m.
  • “We are sending in disaster officials, PNG Defense Force, and the Department of Works and Highways to … start relief work, recovery of bodies, and reconstruction of infrastructure,” Prime Minister James Marape said.
  • The landslide blocked the road between Porgera and the village, she said, raising concerns about the town’s supply of fuel and goods.

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More houses in California ordered to evacuate as officials search for reason of landslide

California Landslide

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Important Takeaways:

  • Destructive Southern California landslide slows but more homes ordered evacuated as sewer breaks
  • A landslide that has destroyed homes in a Southern California community appeared to have slowed but more residences were evacuated.
  • Five additional homes were ordered evacuated Tuesday because earth movement broke a sewer line, although those homes had not moved, the city of Rolling Hills Estates said in a statement.
  • The landslide began Saturday atop the Palos Verdes Peninsula on the south Los Angeles County coast. Firefighters discovered cracks in structures and the ground, and hastily evacuated residents from 12 homes that were red-tagged as unsafe.
  • Ten of those homes were then dramatically torn apart over several days as they slid down a slope into an adjacent canyon.
  • The cause of the slide has yet to be determined but authorities have noted the massive rainfall that hit California during winter as the state was battered by repeated atmospheric rivers.
  • Officials have said the homeowner’s association was in the process of hiring a geologist.

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12 California homes evacuated after massive landslide from unknown cause

California landslide

Luke 21:25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves

Important Takeaways:

  • A massive landslide Saturday afternoon led homes to cave in and crumble in a Southern California neighborhood.
  • “To think that these homes were intact, you know, yesterday afternoon, and today you can hear the creaking, the cracking, the crumbling,” Hahn said Sunday. “They’re going to fall.”
  • “Mother Nature has not been kind to several homes. They are about to be at the bottom of the canyon very soon.”
  • Officials did not know yet what may have caused the ground to shift, Goodrich said.

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Severe flooding kills one as Storm Barra drenches northern Spain

By Vincent West

PAMPLONA, Spain (Reuters) – Severe flooding in Spain’s Navarre region submerged cars and houses and killed at least one person on Friday as heavy rains from Storm Barra caused rivers to burst their banks.

Police said one person in the small village of Sunbilla died on Friday afternoon after a landslide caved in the roof of an outbuilding at their farmhouse.

In the regional capital of Pamplona people kayaked down a street, gliding past a bank as rescue workers waded into the waist-deep waters with pumps.

In the center of Villava, a small town just outside the city, houses were submerged up to their roofs.

The regional government declared a level 2 flood emergency and said similar conditions were likely on Saturday, with the focus of the flooding heading south toward the town of Peralta.

“The problem isn’t so much in the amount of precipitation but the level of the rivers,” regional interior secretary Amparo Lopez told reporters.

After a cold snap sent temperatures plunging across Spain, Storm Barra has brought torrential rains and thawed snow and ice at higher altitudes, causing rivers to rise rapidly.

(Additional reporting and writing by Nathan Allen; editing by John Stonestreet)

10 dead, dozens trapped after landslide in India’s Himalayas – officials

By Devjyot Ghoshal and Alasdair Pal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -A landslide in the mountainous Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has killed at least 10, injured 14 and left dozens trapped after boulders tumbled on to a major highway on Wednesday, smashing and burying several vehicles, Indian officials said.

Around 30 people are still trapped, including passengers inside a bus lying under the debris, Vivek Kumar Pandey, a spokesman for the paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police, told Reuters.

“There has been a massive landslide on the Reckong Peo-Shimla highway,” Pandey said, later adding that “operations are under way, we are trying to reach the bus.”

Abid Hussain Sadiq, a top government official in the Kinnaur district where the incident happened, said that rescue operations could continue through the night in an attempt to find the survivors.

More than 200 personnel, including from the army, paramilitary forces and local police, are working along a stretch of National Highway 5 that runs along the Sutlej river and connects northern India to the border with China, officials said.

Local police chief Saju Ram Rana said the landside, which happened around noon on Wednesday, loosened large boulders and sent them cascading down the steep mountainside, blocking about 150 meters of the highway.

“The debris fell from quite high up,” Rana told Reuters, adding that heavy machinery was being brought in to clear the area.

In pictures shared by authorities on social media, helmeted rescue workers can be seen scrambling around the mangled remains of vehicles stranded among rocks and loose earth.

In late July, at least nine people were killed by a landslide in a different part of Kinnaur district, and dozens have been left stranded by landslides and flooding in recent weeks in another area of Himachal Pradesh, a scenic Himalayan state popular with tourists.

(Reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal and Alasdair Pal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Kirsten Donovan)

Missing people presumed dead after Norway landslide, police chief says

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian rescue workers gave up hope on Tuesday of finding more survivors from a Dec. 30 landslide that swept away a dozen buildings but vowed to continue the search for three people who are still missing.

Seven men, women and children have so far been found dead after a landslide struck a residential area in the municipality of Gjerdrum, some 30 km (19 miles) north of the capital, Oslo.

“While we no longer have hope of finding survivors, we’re not ending the search,” police chief Ida Melbo Oeystese told a news conference.

Police and other rescue workers used dogs, drones and helicopters, including heat-seeking equipment, to search for survivors in the debris.

The landslide and the rescue effort have gripped the Nordic nation of 5.4 million, but with temperatures well below freezing, the hope of finding anyone alive had rapidly faded.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Guatemala Mayan villagers tell of harrowing escape from deadly landslide

By Sofia Menchu

CHICUZ, Guatemala (Reuters) – Matilde Ical Chen was toasting tortillas over a wood fire for the midday meal when the landslide ripped through the Guatemalan Mayan indigenous village of Queja, burying her mother, sisters and grandparents in a torrent of liquid earth and rock.

Ical Chen, 49, grabbed her husband and six small children and ran, barely surviving a fall into a ravine, she told Reuters in Chicuz, a hamlet three hours on foot from Queja, where she and hundreds of other survivors are now sheltered in a primary school after Thursday’s disaster.

“My mother was buried, along with my sisters, their husbands, the whole family, even the grandparents,” Ical Chen said though an interpreter, counting approximately 30 family members who did not escape the mud that rescuers say is up to 50 feet (15 meters) deep.

“We have food here, but I can’t eat for the worry,” she said, clutching a scarf as tears ran down her cheeks.

A deluge linked to storm Eta killed dozens and caused devastation from Panama to Mexico last week. But perhaps nowhere was harder hit than Guatemala, where poor Mayan villages precariously perched on lush mountainsides are susceptible to landslides.

Rescuers say they may never know how many people were buried in the mud in Queja, about 200 km (125 miles) from Guatemala City. The government has estimated up to 150 lives lost.

But braving loose ground and new landslides that made rescue work perilous, survivors returned on Sunday desperately looking for relatives and scant belongings – clothes, a little food, their livestock.

With the first break from days of relentless rain allowing more access, helicopters buzzed in and out of the village and surrounding hamlets, bringing supplies and rescue workers who recovered at least six bodies, even as new landslides endangered more lives.

At least two people were killed when a light aircraft carrying humanitarian aid for the disaster area crashed in Guatemala City, while another helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing.

Rolando Cal was among the survivors who made the treacherous trek back to Queja, a Poqomchi’ Mayan settlement of about 1,300 people, searching for any of his 23 relatives lost in the mud when the mountainside collapsed after days of rain.

“This is where my whole family and my home were destroyed,” Cal said, pointing to a pile of rubble where his house once stood, a vast gash of bare earth stark against the lush landscape and remaining houses beyond.

“I no longer have a place to live,” said Cal, who walked into Queja on Sunday from neighboring Santa Elena, where he has found shelter. “Without food, without money. I’m miserable.”

When a helicopter carrying supplies organized by a retired general, Francisco Mus, arrived in Chicuz, survivors huddled in the schoolyard ran out, desperate for possible news of loved ones left behind. Among some 450 people sheltered at the school, many were saved by Chicuz residents who risked their own lives to clamber into gullies and pull stranded families up with ropes, village official Raul Gualin said.

Bedraggled, and with only the clothes on her back, Ical Chen said she was grateful to the village for taking her in. She too thinks she, her husband and children will not return to Queja now, or maybe ever.

“We will try to find refuge in another place, and not go back there,” she said. “I lost my whole family.”

(Additional reporting Luis Echeverria in Queja and by Enrique Garcia in Guatemala City; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Gerry Doyle)

Rescuers hunt for survivors as Pakistan landslide death toll rises

Rescuers hunt for survivors as Pakistan landslide death toll rises
By Abu Arqam Naqash

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (Reuters) – Army helicopters flew rescue missions for the third day running in an avalanche-hit area of Pakistani-Kashmir as the death toll from the disaster rose to 77 on Thursday, officials said.

The latest victim of the avalanches in Neelum Valley, in the Himalayan region disputed by Pakistan and India, was a six-year-old girl, Safia, who died in hospital on Thursday.

Safia had been pulled out alive on Tuesday after being buried for close to 20 hours, a doctor, quoting the child’s family, said. “She had suffered fractures in her skull and orbital bones and left leg and despite our best efforts died of her brain injuries,” the doctor, Adnan Mehraj, told Reuters.

Safia’s family were elated when she was found alive, her uncle, Naseer Ahmed told Reuters, but now relatives were in shock. Safia was the 19th member of the family to perish in the Neelum Valley avalanches.

“I am not in my senses … We have lost almost everyone in the family from young kids to elderly members,” said a visibly disturbed Ahmed.

“This extreme weather has played havoc with the lives of people living in high altitude mountains,” Pakistani-Kashmir’s top administrative official, Mathar Niaz Rana, said.

“We are trying our best to alleviate their sufferings,” he told Reuters as two helicopters were being loaded with relief supplies, including food and medicine, in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Meanwhile, in a separate area in Pakistan, further north, five personnel of the Pakistan army were killed when an avalanche hit them as they were carrying out rescue efforts, according to a senior official.

The five were from the engineer corps and helping clear roads covered by landslides in an area of Gilgit-Baltistan, a mountainous region that borders China. Avalanches in the area had earlier killed a woman and child, an official of the local disaster management authority, Farid Ahmed, said.

In total, 109 people have died across Pakistan in snow and landslide-related incidents over the last five days, including 20 deaths in the south-western province of Baluchistan.

(Writing by Gibran Peshimam, Editing by William Maclean)

Strong quake strikes northwest Japan, triggers small tsunami, power cuts

Scattered goods caused by an earthquake are seen at a supermarket in Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture, Japan June 19, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.

TOKYO (Reuters) – A strong and shallow earthquake struck Japan’s northwest coast around Niigata prefecture on Tuesday, triggering a small tsunami, shaking buildings and cutting power to around 9,000 buildings.

The magnitude 6.4 quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), lasted for as long as 20 seconds and damage included a landslide that struck a road, according to public broadcaster NHK. There were no initial reports of fatalities or fires.

A collapsed wooden roof of a sumo wrestling ring caused by an earthquake is seen at the Oizumi Elementary School in Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture, Japan June 19, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.

A collapsed wooden roof of a sumo wrestling ring caused by an earthquake is seen at the Oizumi Elementary School in Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture, Japan June 19, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.

Authorities lifted a 0.2-1.0 meter tsunami warning for the region after waves several centimeters high struck parts of the Niigata coast.

A tsunami of up to one meter could have caused some flooding and damage in low-lying coastal areas and river banks, though much of Japan’s coastline is guarded by sea walls.

“We will work closely with local authorities to provide any disaster measures including lifesaving and rescue operations and have instructed officials to provide information in a timely and accurate manner,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga – the top government spokesman – told a media briefing.

The quake struck at 10.22 p.m. local time (1322 GMT Thursday) at a depth of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), the USGS said.

It measured 6.7 according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, and in some places was as high as a strong six on the agency’s seven-point “Shindo”, or Seismic Intensity Scale, which measures ground motion at specific points unlike magnitude which expresses the amount of energy released.

Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (Tepco) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant was not affected by the quake, which hit 85 km ( 53 miles) northeast of the site. All of its seven reactors were already shut down, NHK said.

A Tepco spokesman said an initial inspection showed no damage to the plant, and inspectors would carry out more detailed checks.

The quake also temporarily halted express bullet train services in the region, with some roads also closed, according to NHK.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly, Elaine Lies, Linda Sieg, Takaya Yamaguchi and Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Catherine Evans and John Stonestreet)

Death toll from Philippine landslides, floods climbs to 85

Rescue workers carry a body bag containing remains of victims following a landslide at Cisolok district in Sukabumi, West Java province, Indonesia, January 1, 2019 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken January 1, 2019. Antara Foto/Nurul Ramadhan/ via REUTERS

MANILA (Reuters) – The death toll from landslides and devastating floods in the central Philippines triggered by a tropical depression climbed to 85, officials said on Wednesday, and 20 people were missing as rescuers slowly reached cut-off communities.

The casualties, including young children, were mostly killed when their homes collapsed in landslides after days of heavy rain in several provinces in the central Philippines, said Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the national disaster agency.

“If we don’t recover the missing or we recover them dead, that is 105 deaths, which we hope not,” Jalad said.

A resident carries his livestock following a landslide at Cisolok district in Sukabumi, West Java province, Indonesia, January 1, 2019 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken January 1, 2019. Antara Foto/Nurul Ramadhan/ via REUTERS

A resident carries his livestock following a landslide at Cisolok district in Sukabumi, West Java province, Indonesia, January 1, 2019 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken January 1, 2019. Antara Foto/Nurul Ramadhan/ via REUTERS

The tropical depression, which weakened into a low pressure system before leaving the Philippines on Sunday, brought heavy rain that triggered landslides and flooding in the Bicol and eastern Visayas regions.

Officials put three provinces under a “state of calamity” to give them access to emergency funds.

Bicol, with a population of 5.8 million, was the hardest hit, with 68 killed in intense rains and landslides. Damage to agriculture in Bicol, which produces rice and corn, was estimated at 342 million pesos ($6.5 million).

Rescuers, including the police and military, used heavy-lifting equipment to clear roads leading to landslide sites and entered flooded communities using rubber boats.

“The sun is already out, with occasional light rains. We hope floods will subside,” Ronna Monzon, a member of the operations personnel at the disaster agency in Bicol, told Reuters.

About 20 tropical cyclones hit the Philippines every year, with destroyed crops and infrastructure taking a toll on human lives and weighing down one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; Editing by Paul Tait)