29 May 2024

'Terrible tragedy': IRL sends message of condolence to PNG

International Rugby League sends its sincere condolences to all those in Papua New Guinea affected by a deadly landslide in Enga.

Papua New Guinea is an IRL Full Member and the passion of the country for rugby league, which is the national sport, is well known.

PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka, who is also Chairman of Asia Pacific Rugby League and a member of the IRL Board, is the Enga Provincial Disaster Committee Chairperson and Provincial Administrator for Enga province, which was struck by a massive landslide last Friday.

Parts of a mountain in the Maip-Mulitaka area in Enga province in Papua New Guinea’s north collapsed while most people were asleep.

With more than 2000 people missing or dead, the rugby league community is in shock and IRL Chair Troy Grant has expressed his sympathies on behalf of the game to Tsaka and others affected by the disaster.

“On behalf of the IRL Board, I wish to pass on my condolences to the people of Papua New Guinea,” he said.

“The Rugby League community around the world is saddened by the devastating scenes we have witnessed in Enga and offer our deepest sympathies to those who have been impacted by this devastating event.”  

As the Enga region is in a remote part of Papua New Guinea, the scale of the disaster is only now becoming clear and the number of people missing or killed is a sharp rise on initial estimates.

Greg Peters, Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific Rugby League and CEO of New Zealand Rugby League said: “I have been in contact with Sandis and our thoughts and prayers are with him and the people of Enga Provence.
“I speak on behalf of all the members of Asia Pacific Rugby League in offering our condolences to all the families who have been affected by this terrible tragedy.”