A search is on for another three who were swept away by Watut River in Bulolo last Sunday night.
The province has been hit with torrential rain and Lae felt the impact last Friday when sections of Highlands Highway at 11 Mile outside the city were washed away, inconveniencing motorists and visitors coming to Lae for the annual Morobe Show.
And just when the damaged section was being repaired, the Watut flooded on Sunday evening because of huge mud deposits that had built up during the previous three days.
Bulolo district administrator Tae Guambalek said seven people were swept away by the flooded river and four houses were destroyed by the water from three other creeks.
Guambalek said the seven were two men, two women, a young man, 24, one teenager, 17, who is a Grade Seven student at Pararoa Primary School at Watut LLG and a five-year-old boy.
He said rescuers have found four bodies while the search was continuing for the three who have been washed downstream.
Guambalek said the heavy rains since last week had filled up the three creeks upstream and over-flooding waters were overlapping into each other, bringing mud deposits and debris and filling up the Watut.
He said the unsuspecting victims had no way to escape from the oncoming onslaught of the flood piled with debris.
Guambalek said the three missing are believed to have been devoured by Watut River.
He said the local MP Sam Basil has come to the aid to bring the dead to the hospital morgue and will go through the situation report with the Bulolo District Development Authority to take further actions. The district administrator has warned people living down the river to middle Watut in Mumeng LLG to lookout for floating bodies.
The flooding Bumbu River which runs through Lae has swept away several houses since last week as the rains continued.