Kumusi River

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The Kumusi River (also known as the Kamusi River) is a river located in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea. Known for its width and its strength, the Kumusi has had a significant impact on the history of the Oro Province. It was a significant factor in the Kokoda Track Campaign and also a contributing factor to the destruction caused by Cyclone Guba.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Kumusi River Crossing at Wairopi
Aerial view of Kumusi River

Due to its relative proximity to the Kokoda Track, the Kumusi River was often a factor in the Kokoda Track Campaign of World War II. The fast flowing and wide river provided natural barrier from enemy, and gave the soldiers a distinct advantage.[1] There were few bridges, the solid ones were often bombed to break a supply line.[2] Soldiers often had to walk, or use rafts through the powerful current in order to get across[3] Many fatalities were recorded as the current overwhelmed the soldiers.[3] One of the most notable deaths was that of Japanese Major General Tomitaro Horii. After the Oivi-Gorari battle, the Japanese chaotically crossed the river at Wairopi.[4][5] Although his horse already had drowned, Horii opted to try and cross on a raft. He soon fell into the water and drowned.[5]

Cyclone Guba[edit]

On 14 and 15 November 2007, Cyclone Guba hit the Oro Province. The Cyclone brought five days of solid rain, causing widespread flooding; the Kumusi swelled to ten times its original width.[6] The flooding destroyed homes, gardens and in some cases, entire villages were washed away.[7] The flooding completely destroyed the provinces vital infrastructure, over twenty-two bridges were washed away, cutting the link to Popondetta.[8] Of the twenty-two, the Kumusi Bridge,[9] a large steel structure was destroyed, with estimated rebuilding costs at K70 million.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brune 1992, p. 215
  2. ^ Brune 2004, p. 90
  3. ^ a b Brune 1992, p. 216
  4. ^ Brune 2004, p. 419
  5. ^ a b Lindsay 2002, p. 122
  6. ^ "Tasmanian Anglican". Trek Kokoda. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "Building Blocks". The National. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "Islands Business". Islands Business International. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  9. ^ "Cyclone Guba Devastates Kokoda Area". Kokoda Trekking. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 

References[edit]

  • Lindsay, Patrick (2002). "The Spirit of Kokoda: Then and Now". Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 1-74066-075-7. 
  • Brune, Peter (1992). "Those Ragged Bloody Heroes". Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86373-264-0. 
  • Brune, Peter (2004). "A Bastard of a Place". Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-74114-403-5. 

Coordinates: 8°30′S 148°14′E / 8.500°S 148.233°E / -8.500; 148.233