This photo released by Royal Malaysian Police shows an aerial view of the landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa today. – AP pic

This photo released by Royal Malaysian Police shows an aerial view of the landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa today. – AP pic

Homeless landslide victims carrying their belongings in plastic bags. – Picture by Choo Choy May

Homeless landslide victims carrying their belongings in plastic bags. – Picture by Choo Choy May

The Malaysian Insider

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 – Hours after a massive landslide destroyed more than a dozen homes and caused thousands to be evacuated from the leafy Bukit Antarabangsa suburb, a car still laid on its side resting on tonnes of earth, pushed into the second floor of what was once a luxury home.

In another house nearby, what was once a well-manicured lawn had been compacted into a roller-coaster shape with parts of it turned into a vertical wall. Beside the lawn, the house was tilted a crazy angle, with an MPV sticking out of what was once the roof.

These were the less devastating scenes. Many of the other homes had either been reduced to rubble or still buried under tonnes of earth where rescue workers worked feverishly to try to locate survivors.

Workers using excavators dug non-stop to clear the earth but appeared to hardly make a dent.

The scene was chaotic, with hundreds of rescue workers, police, residents and the press milling about on the narrow roads in the area.

Police helicopters whirled overhead. Some had been deployed to airlift some of the thousands of residents trapped in the neighbourhood with no water or electricity. Most of the residents and survivors, though, had to walk down the hill through jungle-like terrain.

One police dog unit officer, identified as Rano, said the afternoon rain had halted search and rescue operations for the missing.

“We have already found where the victims are under the rubble. But as long as it is raining and they are uncertain of conditions, they cannot go in and get them out,” he said, adding that he is unsure if the victims are still alive.

One elderly woman making her way out of the area told The Malaysian Insider that her house was still intact but she feared for the safety of her family if they had to return to their homes.

Hizam Sujairi, 30, looked forlorn, dragging a luggage bag behind him, as he made his way from the carnage.

He was soaking wet and had no idea where he was going to stay.

“I have not had time to think about anything yet.

“We are safe up on the hill. But there is no electricity or water and we may run out of supplies,” he says, bemoaning the fact that he will have to be without his car for the next few days.

Jasmiah Abdul Mutalib, 56, was lucky to escape unscathed when the wave of mud petered out just a few feet from her home.

She related how she heard three explosive sounds this morning. She rushed out of her home to a devastating scene.

She told reporters how a month ago, five trees in the area had been uprooted.

Jasmiah said: “Perhaps it was a sign.”

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/13839-broken-lives-amid-sea-of-mud

Advertisements