Thursday, 4 September 2008 4:44 AM

PNG's Morobe Province Flooded

Three weeks of rain has led to extensive flooding in Papua New Guinea's Morobe province with a bridge connecting the province and the highlands on the verge of collapsing.

As reported by The National, two houses have been washed away and 250 others flooded and the 'Busu, Bumbu and Yalu rivers in Lae also caused damages to farmlands as they veered off course and flooded levees and flood plains in areas in and around the city'.

'One of the links to the Highlands, the Yalu bridge was late yesterday being watched carefully by engineers from road construction company Shorncliffe who kept vigil as they awaited Works Department and AusAID officials' as 'at least nine square-metres of road embankment had collapsed, exposing the steel frames of the bridge'.

According to The National, the 'rain and flood toll is likely to affect more than 300,000 people, crops and livestock' and apparently, 'unconfirmed reports said the Markham valley was under water after 24 hours of rain recorded at 107mm - said to be the highest in three rainy weeks - by the weather bureau at Nadzab airport'.

'Settlers near the Busu river saw the seventh fastest flowing river in the world rise dangerously close to the bridge' and 'at the mouth of the Bumbu river, near Voco Point, some 250 houses at the Maramba, Biwat and Gegerobi settlements, comprising more than 4,000 people, were standing in water'.