Captain Sere Kala Reports From Scene of Disaster
Salvation Army Captain Sere Kala, Papua New Guinea Command Public Relations Officer, accompanied PNG Prime Minister Bill Skate to the Sissano Lagoon, the worst hit area, to survey the disaster zone.
According to a report by Kala in an International News Release, he personally counted 57 bodies floating near the shore in water so putrid no one could even touch it. Two entire villages in Sissano were completely wiped out, with no survivors.
“It’s like a ghost village on its own, because the hundreds of mounds of sand mark the resting place of village people, but no one knows their identity.”
Many villagers have fled into the bush and hills and will not come down, because of fear and shock, expecting another wave, others because they are completely naked…(meanwhile) bodies which are recovered are being burned. The psychological affect on the defense forces, who are among those carrying out this duty, is very traumatic.” The Salvation Army was delegated to provide urgent supplies for disinfecting workers on burial and body retrieval detail.
“The survivors want to do something for themselves, and we are providing 1,000 bush knives and axes so they can assist in clearing debris.” The Army is also helping provide safe water supplies in addition to other ongoing relief efforts.