Search for missing 12 resumes


BATANG KALI: The seach and rescue (SAR) operation to look for 12 victims still missing after yesterday’s devastating landslide at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite in Gohtong Raya here resumed at 8 this morning.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Norazam Khamis said the SAR operation today would focus on two of the three search area sectors involving sector B (Fairview Camp) and sector C (area near the Riverside camp).

“We are focusing on the two sites because we believe the victims are trapped in Farmview and Riverside … this is based on the fact that the last victim was found at a spot between these two locations.

“The SAR operation today will involve the use of heavy machinery or excavators to remove soil and large trees which had fallen with the flow of soil,” he told reporters at the disaster site today.

He, however, said the use of four excavators would depend on the weather and soil conditions during today’s operation.

Yesterday, the SAR focused on three sectors, namely A (Hillview camp), B and C.

Norazam said today’s operation would involve more than 150 rescuers from various agencies, including the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Civil Defence Force (APM) and Special Malaysian Search and Rescue Team (SMART).

He said the main challenge yesterday and today concerned land stability at the disaster area because of underground water, the 45-degree gradient of the slope, and the thickness of the landslide debris, which reached a depth of between 6.1 and 9.1 meters.

“There is no soil movement at the moment, but there is still underground water flow which caused the soil to soften. We fear that there could be movements and the ground may slip further and threaten the safety of rescuers,” he said.

The 2.42 am landslide saw a section of a ravine measuring almost 300 metres long and 70 metres high crashing onto the campsite.

A total of 94 people were trapped by the landslide and as of midnight last night, 12 people were reported missing while 21 have been confirmed dead and the rest rescued. – Bernama



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