Landslide on Malaysian highway caused by overflow of water catchment area

Landslide on Malaysian highway caused by overflow of water catchment area
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

BENTONG - The Karak landslide was caused by an overflow of a water catchment area, not logging on a nearby hill, said the Fire and Rescue Department.

The Department's deputy director-general (operations) Datuk Soiman Jahid said the heavy rain over the last few days had caused the catchment to overflow, picking up sediment and mud which became a landslide.

"The overflow also picked up garbage, logs and large rocks from the hill," he told media, during a briefing at the site.

Soiman said the Department conducted a preliminary aerial inspection to assess the soil structure and water flow.

"I saw an area that had some logging, which appeared quite orderly," he said.

He said there was an area where the trees had been cleared, as well as more water in the catchment area.

"If it rains heavily again, there will be another overflow," he warned.

Asked if the landslide was caused by the logging, Soiman disagreed, saying the primary cause was the overflowing catchment.

He said the department had instructed the Works Ministry and ANIH management to remove the rocks and logs spotted on the hilltop to reduce the damage, should another landslide occur.

As of 2pm, all lanes of the highway remain closed with clearing works at kilometers 52.4 of Karak highway, primarily on the KL-bound lane.

See also: Landslide on Malaysian highway: It was like a movie, says escaping driver

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