More than 100 people are missing and at least six are dead after a tidal wave struck a remote part of the northwest coast of Papua New Guinea, Australian Broadcasting Corp radio reported on Saturday.
The radio reported the wave hit the coast near the town of Aitape in the West Sepik province on Friday night following an earthquake off the coast measuring 7 on the Richter scale.Witnesses estimated the wave at about 23 feet high. Hundreds of bush material houses had been destroyed, the ABC said. Relief co-ordinators said they had heard reports of at least six deaths, mainly of young children, the radio said.
It quoted Rob Parer, a businessman who lives just outside of Aitape, as estimating the population in the area affected at up to 15,000.
"All the houses of theirs along the beach, I'd say 80 or 90 percent, have been wiped out by the sound of it," Parer said, adding one villager had told him the wave swept his village away like a broom.
Papua New Guinea lies across the Torres Strait from northern Queensland, Australia.