Rescue efforts end in Papua New Guinea landslide

Authorities in Papua New Guinea have halted rescue efforts for the many people still missing two weeks after a massive landslide. A village in the country's north was buried under deep rubble.

The provincial government says recovery operations and the search for bodies ended on Thursday. There are risks of more landslides, as well as disease from decaying bodies. The area has been designated a "mass burial site."

The disaster occurred on May 24 in the mountainous province of Enga, about 600 kilometers northwest of the capital, Port Moresby.

Ten people have been confirmed dead, but the scale of the landslide makes it difficult to know the actual toll.
The government says at least 2,000 people are buried under rubble and mud, far more than a UN agency estimate of more than 670.

Rescue operations have been hampered by risky conditions, and the fact that the main highway and other roads have been cut.

An aid organization says some people have continued searching desperately for family members and others, using only sticks. The provincial government is calling on more than 1,000 residents who remain within risky areas to evacuate.