Day after: Traffic flow still partially impeded as work continues to prevent further landslides along Jalan Mahameru.
KUALA LUMPUR: The landslide along Jalan Mahameru happened despite ongoing slope rehabilitation works by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) contractors, said its Public Works and Drainage Department director, Tan Keng Chok.
“Despite the continuous slope strengthening work at the site, the landslide was triggered by the movement of a soft layer of mud and sand due to heavy rain,” said Tan, who added that the poor drainage system at the site was another contributing factor.
According to him, work to strengthen the slope actually started last Oct 23, and is due for completion in March.
Tan said the soil nailing method used to strengthen the slope, while improving the drainage, was also included in the scope of work.
“We are also upgrading the roadside and cascading drainage system for the area,” he said. A heavy downpour on Tuesday led to soil and mud tumbling down to block all three city-centre bound lanes of Jalan Mahameru in front of Wisma Tani.
Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan said the landslide was more severe than the one which occurred at the same slope on May 7 last year.
Following that incident, DBKL issued a slope alert during the rainy spell and recruited the Public Works Institute of Malaysia (Ikram) to help assess the stability of slopes in landslip prone areas in the city.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the authorities have expressed fear over the possibility of another landslide in Bukit Tunku facing Jalan Mahameru if it rains heavily again.
“If that happens, we will instruct DBKL to close that stretch of Jalan Mahameru,” said Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department chief of operations, Samsol Maarif Saibani.
This scenario would arise if the removal of earth that had cascaded down the slope during Tuesday’s landslide could not be completed in time to face another bout of rain.
Samsol told reporters at the scene that workers were laying canvas sheets on the slope to prevent rainwater from seeping into the soil and triggering another landslide, though no soil movement had been detected so far.
He advised motorists to be careful at the stretch from the Parliament building to the Putra World Trade Centre – where two of the three lanes were reopened to traffic yesterday.