One week on, Papua New Guinea still struggling to grasp damage

Friday marked one week since a massive landslide engulfed a remote community in the mountains of Papua New Guinea. Prime Minister James Marape paid his first visit to the disaster location.

On his way to the site, Marape said people had gone to sleep without knowing what would happen. He said he had come to show his sorrow on behalf of the country.

The prime minister also met with residents as they mourned the victims. He said relief efforts are being sped up to recover bodies and help survivors.

Parts of a mountain in the northern province of Enga collapsed on May 24th. At least six people have been confirmed dead, but overall numbers remain unclear.

Justine McMahon, Care Australia's Papua New Guinea country director, says she thinks it may never be known exactly how many people have died, because "the depth of the rubble is so deep". She also said, "it will take a very long time, if ever, to get through and recover bodies."

The United Nations estimates a total of nearly 8,000 people have been affected by the landslide, including those in need of evacuation.

Aid shipments are gradually reaching the region but are said to be inadequate. Rescue and relief operations have been hampered by the risk of further landslides.