Residents flee as retaining wall collapses

Precarious situation: The landslide involved seven double-storey houses at Jalan Kelab Ukay 4.

KUALA LUMPUR: Daily downpours the past one week caused a retaining wall behind several homes in Bukit Antarabangsa to collapse, forcing out its residents.

The incident along Jalan Kelab Ukay 4 at about 2.20am led to residents vacating their homes and seeking temporary shelter to allow for repair works.

Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who visited the area, said initial investigation pointed to soil movement as a cause of the collapse, and that it was still active.

“Residents have been asked to vacate their home within 48 hours to make way for further investigation, ” he said, adding that the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) had been notified.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, who was also present, said repair work on the wall would cost RM2mil.

“The ministry will approve the allocation immediately for MPAJ to carry out repairs, ” she said, estimating the work would be completed within six months.

A stream, called Sungai Sering, is located behind the housing area.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the Selangor Drainage and Irrigation Department had appointed a contractor to upgrade the river in March, but work was halted when the movement control order came into place.

“A sum of RM400,000 has been allocated to upgrade the river and its tributaries, ” he said.

Also present was MPAJ president Datuk Abdul Hamid Hussain.

Residents have been moved to the De Palma Hotel, Ampang, for a week, to give them time to look for places to rent during the duration of the repair work.

Zuraida said the ministry would foot the rental cost.

The collapse of the wall, which measured 4m high and 70m long, caused cracks to form in the two-storey houses. 

Resident Nor Asiah Mohd Nor, 39, said she was about to sleep when she heard a loud noise coming from outside her house.

“I heard a sound of the breaking of the tiles in the kitchen. When I went to check, I saw cracks in the walls.

“The huge tree behind our house also fell down. I ran upstairs to wake my husband and three children, before calling the Fire and Rescue Department, ” said the housewife.

Another resident Mohd Afik Muhd Nazle, 21, said firemen instructed them to vacate their home.

“I was sleeping when I heard a bell being rung a few times. It turned out to be Bomba personnel asking us to come out, ” he said.

He packed his clothes to move to a hotel.

“We were told we can come home occasionally if we need to retrieve more items, ” said the 21-year old, who lives with his parents and nephew.

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