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Emergency crews in Papua New Guinea move survivors of massive landslide to safer ground

4 Comments
By ROD McGUIRK

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4 Comments
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Just terrible conditions. Where do you start?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is the cause of the massive landslide?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I worked as a helicopter pilot in PNG circa 1990-91. To answer NBs question consider that in the highlands where this slide occurred it rains daily an average of 19mm per day during much of the year. The mountains are mostly limestone karst that is slowly dissolved by water. There are rivers in the highlands that disappear into big holes in the limestone, only to reappear as a jet of water shooting out of a sheer cliff some kilometers away. The water eroded a layer and made its own tunnel through the rock. The land is wildly vertical and that steep terrain combined with equatorial heat and humidity means daily intense rain and thunderstorms.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The thought that the land is stable proved to be an illusion. There are things which are believed to be stable, but they are not.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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