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More Than 2000 Killed In Papua New Guinea Landslide

A Papua New Guinea government official has informed the United Nations that more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by Friday’s landslide and has requested international assistance.

This government figure is approximately three times higher than the U.N.’s estimate of 670 individuals killed by the landslide in the mountainous interior of the South Pacific island nation.

Only six people’s remains have been found so far. In a letter dated Sunday and seen by The Associated Press, the acting director of the National Disaster Center in Papua New Guinea, Luseta Laso Mana, stated that the landslide “buried more than 2000 people alive” and caused “major destruction” in Yambali village, Enga province.

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

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

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