Landslide kills schoolchildren in Papua New Guinea | world | Hindustan Times
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Landslide kills schoolchildren in Papua New Guinea

world Updated: Mar 04, 2009 09:25 IST

At least seven people, including four children, were killed in a landslide after torrential rains in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, local media reported on Wednesday.

The toll was expected to rise as more people were believed to be trapped under the debris, which engulfed two buses and three houses near Watabung on the Okuk Highway on Tuesday, the National newspaper said.

Four primary schoolgirls on their way to school on one of the buses were reported to be among the seven dead, with a number of other passengers unaccounted for as search and rescue efforts continued.

"We presume that more people are dead when you calculate the number of people on the two buses, and many who could have been around the area," National Disaster Service chairman Manasupe Zurenuoc told the Post-Courier.

A smaller landslip had cut the highway on Monday and buses were stopping at either side of the debris to allow people to walk across and continue to their destinations when the second landslide occurred, he said.

"What has occurred is unfortunate. People living along the highway must take precautions during this heavy downpour the country is experiencing," he said.

Hundreds of people in the Western Highlands province of the impoverished Pacific island nation were left homeless last month after a river burst its banks following weeks of heavy rain.