West Papua: Landslides in regencies Intan Jaya and Puncak Jaya destroy houses and gardens

Heavy rain caused landslides in the regencies Intan Jaya and Puncak Jaya, Papua Tengah Province, destroying residential houses, livestock, and gardens. The number of fatalities is currently not known. According to information received, the flash flood in Gurage District, Puncak Jaya Regency, on 3 February 2024, destroyed one bridge and severed road access between Kalome-Tinggi Nambut District and Mulia Town. Additionally, landslides in Wandoga and Yokatapa Villages, Sugapa District, and Intan Jaya Regency on 6 February 2024 washed away gardens and livestock, leaving residents devastated. The internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the affected communities sought shelter in neighbouring villages (see video below, source: independent HRD).

Following the landslides in Sugapa, Intan Jaya, residents were left reeling as their homes and livelihoods were destroyed. The lack of timely aid exacerbated their distress, prompting calls for urgent intervention from central, provincial, and regional governments. On 8 February 2024, the Central Papua Provincial Government reportedly responded to the natural disasters by sending emergency aid totalling four tonnes of food supplies. Each regency received two tonnes of aid, delivered via two flights to each location due to severely damaged road transportation access. Acting Governor Ms Ribka Haluk declared she dispatched three officials to assess the conditions firsthand in the affected areas.

The delivery of food aid aimed to alleviate immediate hardships, with Haluk stressing the need for coordination between technical agencies and local governments to assess the full extent of the damage and implement effective solutions to support the affected populations. The landslides add to the long list of hardships that the people in both regencies have experienced as a result of the armed conflict between Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB). In Intan Jaya, armed clashes and security force raids reportedly resulted in the killing of two villagers, leaving an indigenous woman wounded and houses burnt to the ground. Observers estimated that about 4,400 persons were internally displaced.

IDPs arriving at the neighbouring village. The video was recorded in Intan Jaya

Destruction caused by landslides in Intan Jaya