Landslip close to apartment raises safety fears among residents

KOTA KINABALU: A landslip on a hillslope adjacent to Country Heights Apartment, caused by heavy rains over the last three weeks, is raising safety concerns among residents.

They want the authorities to check on the structural safety of the three apartment blocks situated close to the hillslope, which had progressively given way over the last two years.

A resident who only wanted to be identified as Florence said that the authorities must investigate if the blocks were still safe and whether they could continue living in the apartments.

"These landslides are getting worse every time it rains and on Tuesday (Sept 21) we are seeing more earth movement and water runoff," she said.

Earth from the landslides had already breached the perimeter of the apartment, said Florence.

"Our fear is that with so much underground water, our apartment is at risk. We need expert assessment and we hope the Penampang district council and other relevant agencies come and assess the structural safety of the blocks.

"If we need to move out, then the developers of the apartment should provide us with alternatives," she added.

Following heavy rains on Tuesday (Sept 21), an excavator was brought in by the developer's management company to clear the landslip within the area but residents felt that not enough was being done to ensure the safety of their apartment blocks.

Penampang district officials as well as management have visited the areas since landslides began but the residents said there was nothing concrete done to resolve it.

Meanwhile, residents of the hillside Kg Kopungit in Sembulan here have been asked to move out as landslides near a huge water tank belonging to the Sabah Water Department could potentially be affected by more rain.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Bung Moktar Radin said that the Public Works Department was investigating the safety aspects of the water tank near Kg Kopungit.

"People living around the area have been asked to evacuate," he added.

Inclement weather over the past three weeks had triggered landslips damaging many roads in west coast and interior Sabah while several building including a few medical blocks under Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1 here had to be vacated due to landslides on Sept 3.

Flash floods have also left many people cut off and thousands of homes have been inundated at least three times this month.

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