‘M’sia ready to lend a hand to PNG’

Devastating impact: View of the damage after a landslide in Maip Mulitaka, Enga province, Papua New Guinea. — Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is ready to provide assistance to Papua New Guinea, which was hit by a massive landslide on Friday, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“My thoughts are with the people of Papua New Guinea following the devastating landslide that has claimed over a hundred lives in Enga province.

“Malaysia stands ready to provide assistance to our brothers and sisters in Papua New Guinea,” he wrote on Facebook yesterday, Bernama reported.

Anwar said that the humanitarian response to the tragedy would be challenging as the landslide occurred in a remote, mountainous and rugged region.Media agencies reported that the landslide hit Kaokalam village in Enga province, about 600km north-west of the nation’s capital Port Moresby, at around 3am on Friday, with hundreds of people feared to have been killed.

Authorities have not confirmed any death toll, though preliminary media reports claimed that more than 300 have died as of yesterday afternoon.

Wisma Putra said yesterday that no Malaysians had been reported to be involved or affected by the incident.

It also extended its deepest sympathies and condolences to the victims’ families, as well as to the people and government of Papua New Guinea.

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