Families flee homes in Shah Alam as wall falls

SHAH ALAM: An entire row of homes in Seksyen 7 here has been declared a "disaster zone" and a dozen families have been ordered to evacuate the area after a landslip triggered massive craters in the ground.

Measuring up to half a metre, the holes appeared behind the row of homes in Jalan Plumbum 7/101 as a 100m-long retaining wall toppled over, resulting in cracks appearing in the houses.

Fearful residents who packed up and left to stay in a hotel spoke of the earth moving under their feet and the sound of water gushing under their floors.

Housewife Marziah Mahmud, whose house was the worst-hit, said she felt movements on the floor and heard the sound of water underneath it during a downpour two days ago.

The place was declared a "disaster zone" by Petaling District Officer Datuk Mohd Misri Idris at about 10pm on Thursday.

Marziah said this wasn't the first time residents felt unsafe.

"We've been threatened by a sinking ground since 2012," she said, adding that the Residents Association had even taken legal action and discussed compensation with the developer and the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).

"The occupants of the first and second homes next to mine moved out several years ago," said Marziah.

"The others have nowhere else to move to," added the 43-year-old, saying that her porch sank with cracks on the floor and wall.

A check at the two unoccupied houses found that the gaps and cracks were equally as severe as those at Marziah's home.

Marziah, who has been living with her parents, husband and three children at the double-storey house since 2008, said many residents were unhappy with PKNS' offer of compensation.

"PKNS should factor in the future values of our properties when offering us total buyout or temporary rental options. We are literally forced to move out.

"It is really upsetting that the houses got worse," she added.

Another resident, who only wanted to be known as Vijay, said that the land had been a swamp before it was turned into a housing estate.

"The heavy rain over the past few days just made things worse," said the 42-year-old.

Hairudin Tumiran, who was helping his sister Khuzaita pack, said the family's safety was top priority.

Hairudin, who was busy tying up the children's clothes in large garbage bags, said the family would be staying at a hotel in Seksyen 9, while looking for a place to rent.

"What to do, the family's safety is at the top of our minds," said Hairudin.

"Better be safe and move out now. We will get a lorry to collect the larger items later," he added.

Khuzaita, a single mother, has four daughters aged between six and 15.

Report compiled by Allison Lai, Vincent Tan, Priya Menon, and Firdaos Fadzil