IPOH: Residents of eight houses on Jalan Silibin Indah, near here, are living in fear after a land erosion caused the back portion of their houses to sink in.
In the 2pm incident on Wednesday (May 13), some of the residents who were at home discovered cracks on their walls.
For many, it was the kitchen area that was affected, and the structure of their homes seemed unstable.
Resident Mohammad Rosli Mohammad Ginda, 57, an electrical engineer, said he was sleeping at the time of the incident when his wife woke him up.
“I have been staying here for the past 13 years, and this is the first time such an incident has occurred.
“I have a feeling that this is caused by spring water trapped underground because a river flows right at the back of our houses, ” he added.
However, another resident S. Moses James, 59, a retired army officer, whose kitchen area was affected, said the river was clogged with rubbish.
He said people from outside the neighborhood had been dumping rubbish into the river.
“I, myself, have been clearing the river, and have discovered old pillows and mattresses thrown into the river.
“The whole row of houses with the back facing Sungai Tambun has caved-in. We are scared that when it rains, the situation will be worse, ” he said.
Jelapang assemblyman Cheah Pou Hian, who visited the place on the day of the incident, has called on all the necessary departments to look into the matter.
On Thursday (May 14), Cheah said he had called the Drainage and Irrigation Department and was told that the matter was under the jurisdiction of the Ipoh City Council.
“I have informed the mayor of the incident, and he has assured me that the matter was being looked into.
“I'm worried if it rains tonight, the situation could be very dangerous for the residents involved, ” he added.
Cheah said the residents must pack all their important documents and items, and be prepared to evacuate if there was a need to do so.
When contacted Kinta District Officer Halizah Sipun said several relevant government departments had visited the site on May 14.
She said in the short-term, the affected area would be covered with canvas and the river cleaned up.
“We will also request that the Perak Water Board carry out a chlorine test, as there seems to be underground water movement.
“A soil movement technical test will be carried out, and we will also see if there is a need for residents to move out if there is still active movement, ” she added.
Halizah said over the long term, the relevant departments would assess if there was a need to construct a gabion to prevent future erosions.
“From my observation the incident is more of a slope failure, ” she added.