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Papua New Guinea landslide buries over 2,000, official estimates to U.N.

More than 2,000 people are estimated to have been buried alive in the landslide that swept over villages in northern Papua New Guinea on Friday, according to an official from the country's National Disaster Center.

The official's estimate - which the Associated Press reported Monday was presented in a letter to the United Nations resident coordinator - would be a devastating spike to the South Pacific island nation's presumed death toll, which the United Nations had believed to be 670.

Yet the widely reported figure is an "unverified estimate," the U.N. Development Program's resident representative, Nicholas Booth, said in an email, noting that "only very few bodies have yet been recovered."


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