Malaysia: Sunday's landslides, floods at Tanah Rata due to 'abnormal rainfall'

The Star 28 Dec 16;

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The landslides and flash floods in several areas here on Sunday were not caused by land encroachment activities.

Cameron Highlands district police chief DSP Hasadid A. Hamid said they were due to abnormal rainfall, causing soil movements at the hill slopes.

He said Tanah Rata received over 100mm of rain compared to the normal 20mm, when it rained from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday.

"Investigations by the police, Public Works Department, district council and the Fire and Rescue Department found that the flash floods and landslides were caused by the extraordinary downpour," he told reporters at a landslide location at the Tenaga Nasional Berhad's (TNB) holiday bungalow, 'The Sharples,'

In the incident on Sunday, the landslide damaged the front portion of the bungalow and four vehicles but there was no loss of life.

Landslides and falling trees were reported at KM55 Tapah-Tanah Rata road, near the Bharat Tea Plantation; KM59 Tapah-Tanah Rata road, near the Oly Apartment; and Jalan Perdah, while the police housing at Tanah Rata was inundated by flash flood.

"All the locations which experienced flash floods and landslides have been reopened and safe for all vehicles except at The Sharples," said Hasadid.

He said police had received three reports to date, on the incidents and a full investigation report could be obtained within three months.

"But, I reiterate, that the incidents have nothing to do with land encroachments as there are no activities which flout the law on the hills," he said. - Bernama

Heavy rain, not illegal land-clearing to blame for Cameron landslide
ZAHRATULHAYAT MAT ARIF New Straits Times 28 Dec 16;

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Illegal constructions or land clearing did not lead to the landslide on Sunday which occurred near Tenaga Nasional Berhad's (TNB) Sharples Bungalow. Cameron Highlands police chief Deputy Superintendent

Hasadid A Hamid said the landslide was triggered due to heavy rain. "During the incident, the state Meteorological Department recorded rainfall measuring a total of 100.9mm.

"The number recorded was above the normal rate of only 20mm per day.

The total rainfall on that day was similar to that of the day of the worst landslide here in Nov 2014," he told a press conference at the scene today.

Hasadid said police have conducted checks at the hill near the bungalow and no illegal activities were found.

"I also urge members of the public to not believe rumors on social media," he said, adding that the official report on the incident would be released in three months.

It was reported on Sunday that 13 guests were evacuated and four cars parked near the bungalow were damaged after a landslide hit the area following heavy rain. No one was injured in the 3pm incident. Occupants were immediately instructed to leave the building for their safety.

The heavy rain had also caused a landslip at Jalan Cameron Highlands-Tapah and a team of firemen were deployed to cut and remove the uprooted trees that had obstructed traffic in the area.

OCPD: Heavy rain caused Xmas Day flash floods in Camerons
T. AVINESHWARAN The Star 29 Dec 16;

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The sudden flash floods and landslides in Cameron Highlands on Christmas Day happened due to heavy rainfall and not because of illegal land clearing, says OCPD DSP Hasadid A. Hamid.

“Based on our investigations, no land clearing works were on-going in the areas affected by landslides and floods.

“The incidents were deemed a natural disaster. There was excessive rainfall on that day which lasted for a few hours,” he said yesterday after inspecting the Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) bungalow at Jalan Tengkolok in Tanah Rata.

On Christmas Day, floods affected the district police headquarters, barracks and a housing area in Jalan Masjid.

Landslides also hit the TNB bungalow, Oly Apartment and the Cameron Highlands-Tapah trunk road which blocked access near the Bharat Tea Plantation in Tanah Rata.

No casualties were reported.

Thirteen people staying at the TNB bungalow for the holidays escaped unhurt after the landslide hit part of the house and damaged four cars.

“Cameron Highlands is safe to visit. Although there is risk when it comes to hilly areas, the authorities are always monitoring the situation, including the hotspots.

“Places like Bharat Tea Plantations in Tanah Rata, Bertam, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja are always monitored if it rains.

“Several agencies are also checking the slopes for soil movement and water runoff.

“Don’t trust viral messages and photographs spread through social media and always seek verification first.

“You can share information sent out by the government agencies. It’s a crime to spread false stories. If you need clarification, please check with us,” he added.

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