Landslide investigation needed: Polye

PAPUA New Guinea’s Treasurer Don Polye reportedly wants a new investigation into the recent devastating landslide near the Tumbi quarry in the Southern Highlands.
Landslide investigation needed: Polye Landslide investigation needed: Polye Landslide investigation needed: Polye Landslide investigation needed: Polye Landslide investigation needed: Polye

This landslide claimed dozens of local lives on January 24 and was estimated to be 30m high and 150m wide, while it also buried a key road between the PNG LNG project's Nogoli camp and the Hides field.

An Exxon spokesperson previously told PNGIndustryNews.net that PNG LNG contractors did not carry out any blasting at the quarry, while British landslide expert Dave Petley is not satisfied with the official explanation it was only caused by continuous heavy rainfall.

Polye is the first cabinet member to openly question the cause of the landslide.

"Was it a natural landslide or was it caused by activities that went on in there is a matter that must be established through an investigation and I support that there should be an investigation," he told Radio New Zealand on Friday.

"I will discuss with the Prime Minister [Peter O'Neill] on the matter."

A report by PNG's National Disaster Centre found the landslide was caused by continuous heavy rainfall which weakened the underlying limestone and resulted in subsidence.

The NDC further said the Geophysical Observatory reported there was no seismic activity in the area over the previous two weeks.

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