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Nicholas Cheng
Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

Malaysia

Residents worried about going home after landslide

The Star/ANN | Nicholas Cheng | Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

HULU SELANGOR, Malaysia - The site where a landslide occurred in Bukit Beruntung is expected to be declared safe soon, but residents are still jittery and afraid to return home.

They claim that during a similar landslide in 2009, authorities had assured them that the area was safe after merely installing a retaining wall.

"They told us then that we did not have to worry. However, now, five years later, the wall broke and the landslide has occurred again," said retired land surveyor Saha­rudin Che Amir.

"Will they patch it up like last time and guarantee the safety of my family?"

The Block K resident said he did not mind staying at the shelter in SK Bunga Raya 1 for "as long as it took" the authorities to "properly secure the site".

"They need to find where the source of water is coming from and cut the steep hill near our apartments to prevent a really big disaster," suggested Saharudin.

Resident Jothi Rengasamy, 45, is also wary about returning home.

"I saw the landslide in 2009," she recalled. "They dug at the hillside and poured a huge amount of concrete but from Monday's incident, it doesn't look like that was enough," said the mother of four.

"I don't know if I can sleep peacefully if this keeps happening."

The worried Block L resident also said her youngest daughter was finding it hard to concentrate on her studies for the upcoming SPM examination while staying with other families in the shelter.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the Welfare Department was prepared to host the families in shelters until it was safe for them to return home.

"We have made available medical and counselling services for them at the school and ensured that the students are not missing out," she said after handing goodies and foodstuff to those staying in SK Bunga Raya 1 on Friday.

On Friday, Hulu Selangor district officer Ahmad Suaidi Abdul Rahim said authorities were confident that the residents could return to their homes by today.

Monday's landslide led to the evacuation of 1,163 residents.

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