‘Water surge not due to logging’

Grim task: Rescuers bringing out the victim’s remains at Gunung Suku, Simpang Pulai. — Bernama

IPOH: The sudden surge of water and soil that swept away the two victims at Gunung Suku, Simpang Pulai, near here was not due to logging activities, says Perak Forestry Department director Datuk Mohamed Zin Yusop.

He said no logging permits had been issued in the area.

“We believe the surge of water was due to heavy rainfall that had occurred earlier,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He was commenting on the two women, identified as See Su Yen, 32, and Ng Yee Chew, 46, from Cheras and Klang respectively, who were reportedly swept away while hiking up a trail at the hill on Sunday.

They were part of a group of 29 hikers. The 27 others had made it safely back to the foot of the hill.

Mohamed Zin said the hikers had obtained permits from the department to go to the area, adding that the incident occurred at Compartment 115 of the hill, which is located under the Bukit Kinta Forest Reserve.

He said the department would temporarily halt the issuance of new permits to enter the forest reserve due to the dangerous situation.

Rescuers recovered a body part believed to belong to one of the two women among a pile of wooden debris about 300m from the location where the victims were last seen. A leg was found at another location on Sunday.

Perak Fire and Rescue Department operations assistant director Muhamad Shahrizal Aris said rescuers have yet to ascertain whether the body parts were from the same victim.

The case was one of three water-related incidents over the past two days.

In Melaka, 60 visitors to the Lama Tiga Budaya waterfall in Asahan were rescued after they were trapped by a water surge following heavy rain yesterday.

Rescuers helped bring the victims to safety by crossing a shallow part of a river.

No one was injured in the incident, Bernama reported.

They were part of 80 people who were camping at the waterfall.

Jasin Fire and Rescue Department operations commander Mohd Rizuan Suliman said the 20 visitors who decided to stay were later advised to cancel their camping until the situation was safe.

In Kuantan, 13 people were rescued after they were stranded following a water surge incident at Lubuk Ujik, Taman Che Minah Sayang, Maran, on Sunday.

Pahang Fire and Rescue Department firemen used personal flotation devices and ropes to transport them across the river.

State Fire and Rescue Department assistant director of operations, Ismail Abdul Ghani, said the victims comprised six adults and seven children from two families from Muadzam Shah, Rompin.

In August last year, heavy rain caused a water surge and landslides in Gunung Jerai while three districts – Yan, Kuala Muda and Bandar Baharu in Kedah – were badly hit by flash floods.

The floods claimed six lives, injured several others, damaged numerous homes and infrastructure and affected the lives of over 1,000 people.

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