‘Risky’ slopes identified

THERE are 1,474 slopes identified as “moderate to very high hazard” risk areas in five states which may be affected during the northeast monsoon season, says Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

Slopes with such risks are located along several critical federal roads in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor and Negri Sembilan, such as the Federal Road FT1, FT3, FT4, FT5, FT8, FT86, and FT185.

“They were identified through the slope risk and hazard maps of the Works Ministry for slopes along federal roads in Malaysia in 2020,” the Senior Minister said during the Minister’s Question Time.

He was responding to Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PAS-Dungun) who asked what the ministry’s preparations were on the safety of roads and slopes with the potential for landslides during the monsoon season, especially on the east coast states.

Fadillah said his ministry was also monitoring slopes along highways, especially the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway, and the East Coast Expressway (LPT) Phase 1 and 2 to ensure the slopes were safe.

The critical roads identified include alternative roads exceeding speeds of 50km, main roads, highland areas and “very high” hazard slopes and slopes with frequent landslides.

The Slope Engineering Branch of the Public Works Department (JKR) and the ministry have also installed a landslide Early Warning System (EWS) at risky locations, using the telemetry system – which would give early warnings if rain exceeded a certain level.

There are 48 rain gauge stations nationwide, with 36 stationed in the peninsula.

They are installed on federal roads with the potential for landslides such as FT59, FT185, FT4, FT55, FT102 and several other critical routes.

The ministry attended several series of engagements with the National Disaster Management Agency and other agencies in preparing for the 2021-2022 northeast monsoon.

East coast states are expected to face the northeast monsoon, which usually lasts until March next year following several episodes of heavy rain.

Fadillah said the ministry prepares for the northeast monsoon each year, and all state and district JKR offices carry out measures and make preparations in terms of manpower, machinery and logistics.

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