Batang Kali landslide due to heavy rain, not man-made causes, says DPM


PETALING JAYA: The deadly Batang Kali landslide tragedy that occurred last year was triggered by a significant rainfall event, not due to anthropogenic (as a result of human influence) activity, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who chaired the Central Disaster Management Committee said the investigation into the tragedy found that it was caused by major cumulative rainfall over a period of five days before the landslide occurred.

"In summary, the results of the forensic analysis found that the rainfall event was the main triggering factor as a result of the combination of the amount of major cumulative rainfall for a period of five days and the antecedent rainfall cumulative 30 days before the collapse occurred, which was 118.6mm and 444.8mm respectively.

ALSO READ: Full report on Batang Kali landslide out in three weeks

"This heavy rain caused the slope failure resulting in the camping site covering the Hill View, Farm View and River Side areas being buried with soil, causing damage to property and loss of life.

"The investigation did not find strong evidence showing anthropogenic activity as one of the contributing factors to this landslide event," he said in a statement on Tuesday (Oct 17).

On Dec 16 last year, a landslide struck the Father’s Organic Farm campsite along the Batang Kali-Genting stretch in the wee hours of the morning.

The tragedy involved 92 victims; 61 of them were successfully rescued while 31 others were killed.

Following the tragedy, a special committee known as the Landslide Working Group Committee (JKKTR) was established to carry out the investigation based on the National Slope Master Plan (PICN) 2009-2023 and the decision by Cabinet ministers, Zahid said.

The committee was led by the Slope Engineering Branch, Public Works Department (JKR) and was joined by other technical agencies such as the Department of Minerals and Geosciences Malaysia (JMG), the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM).

Along with the above, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS), Department of Meteorology Malaysia (METMalaysia), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and appointed professional bodies were also part of the committee.

On the report, Ahmad Zahid said that the forensic report prepared by JKKTR has been forwarded to the Works Ministry and the Selangor Government to be declassified so that the results of the investigation can be accessed by the public.

“The Selangor government agreed to declassify the report on Oct 5, 2023. The report was submitted to the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) on Oct 12, 2023 for further action,” he added.

The full report can be accessed at Nadma’s official website - https://www.nadma.gov.my - at 10am on Wednesday (Oct 18).

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