KUCHING: A 13-year-old boy and an elderly woman were buried alive in a landslide that destroyed nine wooden houses in Kapit.
Rescuers are still searching for two others, believed to be from the same family, in the landslide at Lorong 1, Kampung Baru Cina early yesterday. The search was called off late afternoon due to heavy rain.
Seven people from several families were injured.
Deadly landslide: Workers going through the rubble of a house in Kapit, near Kuching after a landslide early Wednesday. A 13-year-old boy and an elderly woman were buried alive in the mishap. Police are looking for two others still missing.
The dead were identified as Dayang ak Dayak, 53, and Frederick Bradley anak Peter, believed to be her grandson.
The missing duo could be Dayang's daughter, in her 30’s, and another grandchild, a Year Two pupil.
The bodies of Dayang and Bradley had yet to be removed from the rubble as of late yesterday afternoon.
Six of the injured, Emilia Ngu, 11, Ngui Koah Ming, 45, Jennifer Ngui, 17, Sadiah Jambal, 44, Yaw Ah Bah, 76, Yaw Seng Hock, 37, Kong Mee Chu, 43 and Kong Man Huat were given out-patient treatment at the Kapit Hospital.
The seventh, identified only as Ah Seng, 30, was warded.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said the landslide caused one of the houses on the hillslope to collapse, which brought down other houses.
He said the landslide could have occurred as the soil had softened after abnormally heavy rains on Tuesday night.
Danger looms: One of the wooden houses in Kampung Baru Cina perched precariously on the hillslope where Wednesday’s landslide occurred.
Between 10pm and midnight, some 122mm of rain was recorded.
Dr Chan said the houses were built on land belonging to an association and the occupants had earlier been instructed to be relocated to Beleth where approvals had been given to 36 families.
He said other families in the vicinity of the landslide had been asked to move out.
“Welfare aid is being distributed to the affected families,” he added.
About 60 firemen and personnel from other agencies had to wait until daybreak to carry out search operations.
Dr Chan also warned residents in Sibu and central Sarawak to brace for a second wave of floods following heavy rains in the upper Rejang River basin.
He said if the rains continued, flooding in the lower regions of the river could not be avoided, as there would be high tides in the next few days.