CAMERON HIGHLANDS - Five days after she was washed downstream during last Wednesday's mud flood here, the body of 24-year-old Jarwati Abdul Rahim was found yesterday afternoon.
Cameron Highlands Fire and Rescue Department chief Yusry Abdullah Sani said the department received a distress call at 12.30pm from the owner of a nursery, who was cleaning the area when she stumbled upon a body.
"The body was found face down and buried 2m under a pile of rubbish and mud," he said yesterday.
By the time six firemen arrived, Jarwati's body had been dug up by villagers, said Yusry.
He said Jarwati's body was found 800m from where she was swept away and 2km from the operations centre.
"Her body was sent to the Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Hospital mortuary by police."
Following the recovery of Jarwati's body, search operations in the area ceased.
It was reported that Jarwati, from East Java, was swept away when the mud flood hit Bertam Valley on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, only about a third of Bertam Valley residents affected by the mud flood have returned home.
Bertam Valley village chief Wong Fook Chai said those who had returned were those whose houses were not badly affected.
"The majority of the affected villagers chose not to return home as they are still waiting for furniture (as their furniture had been destroyed in the disaster) to be sent to their homes," he said yesterday.
Wong said he expected the villagers to return to their homes in two weeks' time.
"At the moment they are putting up at their relatives' houses or the multi-purpose hall in Ringlet," he added.
As for residents who live along the banks of Sungai Bertam, Wong said they were waiting to be relocated.
Apart from Jarwati, two other people died in the incident, which occurred when muddy water from Ringlet Lake was released after the valves of the Sultan Abu Bakar Dam were opened when the lake's water breached the danger level. At least 80 homes and 100 vehicles were destroyed in the incident.