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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 12:21 GMT
'Dozens killed' in PNG flooding
Papua New Guinea map
At least 70 people have died and 50 are missing after torrential rain caused mass flooding in Papua New Guinea, reports from the Pacific nation say.

Officials have declared a state of emergency for the eastern province of Oro, which has been devastated by a week of heavy rain.

Roads, bridges and houses have been washed away and thousands of people are reportedly affected by the flooding.

Officials have appealed for donations of aid and medical supplies.

"The people have been without food and water for several days now," police spokesman David Terry told Reuters news agency from Oro's provincial capital, Popondetta.

"Health authorities are expressing fears that water-borne diseases might affect the population," he said.

Washed away

The flooding was triggered after Tropical Cyclone Guba brought severe weather to the region.

Assessing the destruction was difficult because of damage to provincial infrastructure, officials said.

A photograph in a local newspaper showed floodwaters rising almost to the roofs of houses.

One man told Radio Australia that 19 people in his village died when their homes were washed away.

"Nineteen of them that were washed (away) by the flood have not been found. They have not been identified," he said.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that his country was ready to provide emergency aid.

SEE ALSO
PNG lawmakers elect Somare as PM
13 Aug 07 |  Asia-Pacific
State of emergency in PNG region
01 Aug 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Papua New Guinea 'to implode'
14 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country Profile: Papua New Guinea
09 Jul 03 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Papua New Guinea
19 May 03 |  Country profiles

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