Dozens of houses have been destroyed by flash flooding in Papua New Guinea’s East New Britain province. Flooding has also damaged or blocked roads, leaving several communities isolated.
Two fatalities have been reported, one in Gazelle district and one in Pomio district. Areas of Rabaul and Kokopo districts have also been affected.
Local media reported that at least 70 homes have been destroyed, although the number could rise further once full assessments have been carried out.
Media reports say that heavy rain has been falling since Sunday 17 February, 2019. PNG National Weather Service reports suggest that areas of New Britain island also saw heavy rain from 11 February.
Local politician Hon. Jelta Wong MP, said he was concerned that further rainfall could mean waste water from the Sinivit gold mine may overflow into the main river systems.
Heavy rain has also affected other areas of the country. Two people died in a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall in Naho Rawa, Madang Province last week.