(Bloomberg) -- Authorities in Papua New Guinea say more than 2,000 people may have been buried in Friday’s landslide that swept over a remote village, media agencies reported, citing a letter to the United Nations.

The projection from the Pacific nation’s disaster center follows an earlier UN estimate that 670 people had been trapped under as deep as 8 meters (26 feet) of dirt and rubble, and were feared dead.

“The landslide buried more than 2000 people alive and caused major destruction to buildings, food gardens and caused major impact on the economic lifeline of the country,” the National Disaster Centre said in a letter to the UN, according to reports by Agence France-Presse and the Associated Press.

Around 150 houses and their residents in Yambali village — located at the foot of a mountain in remote Enga province — are believed to be submerged and “hopes of finding them alive are shrinking,” Serhan Aktoprak, country head of the UN International Organization for Migration, said in a statement this weekend. 

Aid workers from the UN, NGOs and government agencies are on site in the Pacific nation north of Australia, but conditions remain dangerous as the land is still sliding, with water running down the mountain and boulders falling, according to Aktoprak. 

The landslide occurred around 3 a.m. Friday in Enga, roughly 600 kilometers (370 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby.

--With assistance from Krishna Karra and Zoe Ma.

(Updates with latest death toll estimate from AP and AFP reports.)

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