I'm going home to Popondetta this weekend but the news this morning is not good at all. The Girua bridge between the airport and Popondetta town has been damaged by floods from continuous rains. Girua bridge, or at least a temporary bridge, was the first to be reconstructed after the Cyclone Guba devastation in 2007. And there it goes down again...!

I have a special fare ticket from Airlines PNG so I cannot change the booking. I have no choice but to brace myself to cross the river by foot & then onto Popondetta.

The major problem will be the upcoming holiday traffic and children going home from schools, plus goods & supplies going in and out of the province via Oro Bay wharf. To make it worse, the Sambogo bridge between the airport and Oro Bay is also damaged. Villages along the rivers and the coastal areas of Buna, Killerton, Gona and others are flooded out, resulting in about 30,000 villagers perhaps needing relief assistance.

If the rains continue in the Owen Stanley ranges, the mighty Kumusi on the Kokoda Highway, which has already changed its course, will become impassable yet again.

I am always proud of the blessings we have in Oro province especially the pristine environment and the beautiful azure rivers that source from the Owen Stanley Ranges, flow over rocky eddies and ebb into the bay between Oro Bay and the North Coast. Those who visit the province are always in awe of the beauty and coolness of the rivers.

But when Mother Nature strikes, these beauties turn into torrential beasts that devour everything in their way. The last time this happened in 2007's Cyclone Guba, the province was crippled and still has not recovered. My hope & prayer is that the latest flooding does not take us further into the brink. 



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