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Fears rise a second landslide and disease outbreak loom at site of Papua New Guinea disaster

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By ROD McGUIRK

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Get a move on please help those poor people

Is the United nations incompetent or what ?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Get a move on please help those poor people

Is the United nations incompetent or what ?

Have you ever been to PNG? I have. I worked there for a time in the very same highlands this landslide occurred in. The terrain is formidable and hostile. There are few roads and most of these are mud. You can only drive in daylight except in a few larger towns and cities. Too dangerous to drive at night there. It rains about 19mm every day. Every day. I was a helicopter pilot there. Most afternoons we were shut down by big thunderstorms. You always carried a toilet kit and change of clothes because the weather was so unpredictable. You never knew if you would make it back to your home base or be forced to land somewhere else, like one of the little missionary airstrips or this place on Lake Kutubu we could duck into in a hurry and often did. Except for five major airports aircraft are restricted to flying only during the daytime using Visual Flight Rules. No night or instrument flying because the only navigation aids on the whole nation are at those five airports. There were no VHF or UHF comms either. We had to communicate on single sideband HF. It is a very primitive country compounded by the fact that the tribes all fight each other constantly. Even now a tribe is attacking the rescuers trying to help the people who are buried or left homeless because they belong to a rival tribe. These are disputes that pre-date the arrival of the colonial powers.

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