Disasters & Accidents

Malaysia landslide death toll climbs to 24 after 3 bodies pulled from mud

Singapore, Dec 17 (EFE).- The death toll after a landslide struck a campsite in Malaysia’s Selangor state climbed to 24 after rescue teams pulled three bodies from the mud on Saturday.

Two children, a boy and girl, and a woman were found on Saturday and nine people remain missing following the deadly incident that took place on Friday, the Selangor fire and rescue department reported.

So far, seven children died since the Batang Kali camp was hit by a landslide outside the hilly Genting Highlands, some 40 km northeast of Kuala Lumpur.

Emergency services continued the rescue operation on Saturday after a stoppage on Friday night due to bad weather conditions, which coincides with Malaysia’s monsoon season.

Bulldozers and seven sniffer dogs are being used at the rescue operation, Norazam Khamis, the head of the Selangor fire and rescue department, said.

“We have to be careful because there is strong water flow from the top and in the soil. This complicates search operations because the ground is soft,” he was quoted as saying by local media.

Khamis said that the chances were slim for the missing persons to survive due to a lack of oxygen and the weight of the mud.

So far 61 people have been rescued, including 20 members of a Kuala Lumpur primary school, as well as a pregnant woman.

The Malaysian fire and rescue department reported that the earth collapsed from a hillside that was around 30 meters high striking the campsite with some 450,000 cubic meters of mud and covering an area of some 0.4 hectares.

According to the Police, the landslide struck at 2:24 am on Friday (18:24 GMT on Thursday), when around 100 people were spending the night at the campsite near Father’s Organic farm.

It is unknown what caused the avalanche, which emerged from a hilly and forested area, because, although it is monsoon season in Malaysia, local reports suggest that only light rains were recorded on the night of the tragedy.

According to the local government’s development minister, Nga Kor Ming, the campsite was operating illegally without a license.

The Forestry Department has ordered the closure of all “high-risk” campsites, those that are located near rivers, waterfalls and hills for the next seven days.

The landslide took place just 15 kilometers from the popular Genting Highlands leisure complex located on a hill that stands 1,740 meters high.

On Tuesday, the fire department’s chief, Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, warned citizens and municipal authorities to temporarily stop recreational activities in high-risk areas such as mountains, hills, rivers and beaches, during the monsoon season.EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button