Malaysia campsite landslide death toll rises to 23, 10 still missing

KUALA LUMPUR: Rescue teams searching for missing campers caught in Friday’s landslide at an unauthorized campsite in Malaysia have found the bodies of a woman and a boy, bringing the death toll to 23.
The landslide in Batang Kalia popular hilly area about 50 km (30 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, tore up the campsite as people slept in their tents, killing victims including six children.
Of the 94 people caught in the landslide, 61 were safe and 10 are still missing, according to the Selangor State Fire and Rescue Service.
Search and rescue operations continued for a second day on Saturday after an overnight hiatus due to heavy rain which complicated the operation, state fire and rescue chief Norazam Khamis said.
“You have to be careful because there is a strong flow of water from the top and into the ground. This complicates the search operations because the ground is soft,” he said.
A total of 135 rescuers resumed cleaning in thick mud and downed trees around 8:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) with the help of excavators and seven dogs, according to Norazam.
Norazam told reporters there was little chance that more of the missing people could survive the lack of oxygen and the weight of the mud.
An initial investigation showed that an embankment of around 450,000 cubic meters of earth had collapsed. The earth fell from an estimated height of 30 meters (100 ft) and covered an area of ​​approximately one acre (0.4 hectares).
Malaysia’s National Disaster Management Agency said it identified six victims. The youngest was a 9 year old boy.
On Friday night, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim told reporters the government would provide 10,000 ringgit ($2,260) in aid to the families of each person killed in the tragedy, while survivors would receive 1,000 ringgit per household.
The Forest Department in several states ordered the closure of campsites and hiking and off-road trails considered high risk following the disaster.
Landslides are common in Malaysia, but usually only after heavy rains. Flooding is a frequent occurrence, with around 21,000 people displaced last year by torrential rains in seven states.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl