Keeping watch for more landslides


THE Mineral and Geoscience Department (JMG) has sent a Geological Disaster Taskforce team to assess the risk of follow-up landslides at Gunung Jerai in Yan, Kedah.

Its director-general Hisamuddin Termidi said the team would conduct site inspections based on geological observations.

He also said the team would focus on the distribution of unstable rock blocks on the hillside along the way up to the summit of Gunung Jerai.

Workers of THB Maintenance Sdn Bhd clearing a blocked road heading to the peak of Gunung Jerai and The Jerai Hill Resort in Kedah. — G.C. TAN/The StarWorkers of THB Maintenance Sdn Bhd clearing a blocked road heading to the peak of Gunung Jerai and The Jerai Hill Resort in Kedah. — G.C. TAN/The Star

“For the purpose of the responders on site carrying out rescue and site-clearing work, JMG will conduct safety assessment and disaster management through mapping of danger zones and control zones in the areas affected by the disaster.

“In addition, continuous monitoring using drones will be implemented in an integrated manner with other technical agencies.

Civil Defence Force personnel carrying out a search andrescue operation to locate missing villagers at a stream in Yan, Kedah. — Photo courtesy of China PressCivil Defence Force personnel carrying out a search andrescue operation to locate missing villagers at a stream in Yan, Kedah. — Photo courtesy of China Press

“We advise the public in areas such as sloping settlements, near rivers and hillside paths to be cautious of their surroundings, especially during continuous rain as there can be signs of more landslides,” he said in a statement.

Four hours of non-stop rain with no wind on Wednesday resulted in landslides and water column phenomena along the Gunung Jerai route.

Hisamuddin said 244.5mm of rainwater was recorded on Wednesday compared to 48.5mm recorded on Tuesday.

“The landslide disaster on several slopes of Gunung Jerai was reported to have occurred at around 3pm.

A car belonging to a resort employee ending up in the middle of the road after the landslide. However, it is believed that the driver of the car was saved.A car belonging to a resort employee ending up in the middle of the road after the landslide. However, it is believed that the driver of the car was saved.

“This happened after unusually heavy rain continued in the Gunung Jerai area and its surroundings,” he said.

The Jerai Hill Resort general manager Mohd Salim Sulaiman said it was unfortunate that the landslide hit three employees who were heading down from the resort.

“A few of our staff members were on their way up and noticed the landslide.

“They went to their colleagues’ aid and called the Fire and Rescue Department.

A pick-up truck belonging to Telekom Malaysia was caught in the landslide as it went up Gunung Jerai to check on the flood situation. However, the driver is reported to be safe.A pick-up truck belonging to Telekom Malaysia was caught in the landslide as it went up Gunung Jerai to check on the flood situation. However, the driver is reported to be safe.

“Two staff members were found injured while Sharuzi Mohamad, 53, who was missing, was found later in the day. Unfortunately, he passed away.

“He was part of our landscape department and had been with us for about five years,” he said when met at the resort on Friday.

Mohd Salim said as the resort is closed, the workers are on standby, usually to clean up the place and do housekeeping.

He said as the resort’s landscape needed to be maintained, there were usually eight staff members working.

Alias showing a resort employee’s muddy motorcycle which was washed away by the landslide.Alias showing a resort employee’s muddy motorcycle which was washed away by the landslide.

“On that particular day, however, there were about 15 workers as we wanted to clean up the place.

“Due to the landslide, they were stuck at the resort but on Thursday evening, the roads were cleared and they made their way down in their vehicles,” he said.

Sub-contractor Alias Barin, who was supervising maintenance work to clear the road leading to Gunung Jerai, said a lot of sand had fallen on the roads and it would take about four days to clear.

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