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Weather hinders PNG landslide search

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Officials in Papua New Guinea say bad weather has hampered relief operations after a landslide killed 19 people in the Masa area of Sialum District in Morobe province.

The tragedy is reported to have occured early on Monday after continuous rain and floods in the area.

The acting director for the National Disaster Centre, Martin Mose, says disaster officers from the city of Lae were unable to reach the disaster zone but a helicopter was sent in.

The Post Courier newspaper quotes him as saying his men have been working around the clock to bring relief supplies into the area.

Walked to town

News of the landslide was delivered by locals who walked to a nearby town.

Mr Mose said: "It takes a long long while by foot on tracks.

"There's no road that you could drive into that area, so we've actually hired a chopper all the way from Madang to airlift the team into the area and of course some immediate relief assistance that is required like tarpaulins."

Australian Broadcasting Corporation: © ABC