Cops: Mudslide not caused by release of dam water

Cops: Mudslide not caused by release of dam water
Wat-er shock: A Bertam Valley resident staring at the floodwaters at SJK (C) Bertam Valley and the surrounding areas.

CAMERON HIGHLANDS - The release of water from the Sultan Abu Bakar dam did not cause Wednesday night's mudslide in Ringlet, said OCPD Deputy Supt Wan Mohd Zahari Wan Busu.

He said the affected areas were flooded before water from the hydroelectric dam was released.

"The rain was unusually heavy and was worse than during last year's incident."

The incident in October last year claimed four lives and created much havoc, with about 80 homes flooded and 100 vehicles damaged. The severity was linked to the manual release of water from one gate, which had to be done before the gates opened automatically.

Cameron Highlands Power Sta­tions general manager Mohammad Zaki Jalaluddin said Tenaga Nasional Bhd had to release water in stages as the dam level was already critical a short time after the downpour started.

He said the siren in Bertam Valley went off at 8.15pm to signal the evacuation and the siren at the dam was sounded at 8.40pm.

"The release (of water) was done after receiving feedback from the Ringlet police station that the evacuation has been completed," he said.

TNB said water would continue to be released over the next few days depending on the weather and until a safe level was reached.

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