Landslide in PNG: ADRA responds and Adventist grandmother saves 17

The landslide caused "major destruction" in Yambali village in Enga province.

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More than 7000 people were affected by a devastating landslide in Mulitaka, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, on Friday, May 24. The disaster, which occurred around 3am, displaced thousands of people and has an estimated death toll of 670, with 2000 believed to have been buried alive.

Western Highlands Mission president Pastor Luke Nathan reported that 70 Adventist church members were affected, but no Adventist lives were lost. The local church suffered partial damage, with ongoing instability in the area posing future risks.

An ADRA response team is travelling to the affected area this week. The team will implement the response plan, which includes procuring and distributing relief items such as food, hygiene supplies and bedding kits.

Joining the ADRA team are Pastor Nathan, Papua New Guinea Union Mission president Pastor Malachi Yani and more than 50 church members who will be working alongside ADRA during the distribution. The team will also conduct a needs assessment.

Heroic Adventist grandmother

A 70-year-old church member who was caught in the landslide was rescued after saving 17 lives—seven adults and 10 children, according to the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier. Kion Kopal Diai, who was asleep at a lodge owned by her son, woke up to a rumbling sound. After alerting guests, who escaped, Mrs Diai went back to her room when the lodge was swept away by the landslide.

“The lodge was completely buried with mama Kion inside,” reported the Post-Courier. Mrs Diai was rescued by authorities in what the article describes as a “miraculous escape”.

Her grandson Desmond Kopen shared the story with the newspaper, saying his grandmother is a “prayer warrior in the local Adventist church”.

With information from Papua New Guinea Post-Courier.

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