PWD: Cameron landslide caused by rain, debris will take a week to clear

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Perak Public Works Department deputy director Hamdan Ali speaks to reporters near the site of the landslide along Jalan Simpang Pulai December 3, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Perak Public Works Department deputy director Hamdan Ali speaks to reporters near the site of the landslide along Jalan Simpang Pulai December 3, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib

SIMPANG PULAI, Dec 3 — Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highlands will be closed at least a week for authorities to clear the soil and debris from the road, said Perak Public Works Department (PWD) deputy director Hamdan Ali.

He said that the road could be partially reopened for the public on December 9 if weather did not disrupt the clearing work.

“We will open one side of the road first,” he told reporters at the spot of the incident here.

“As a short-term measure, we are cleaning the landslide area and it will take us about a week to complete the work due to the high volume of soil,” he added.

Hamdan also said that PWD will perform strategic management at the landslide spot before reopening the area.

“Our slope specialists will also monitor the stability of the slope from time to time,” he added.

He also said they have identified the cause of the landslide at Section 27 of the Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highland as heavy and sustained rainfall.

“The landslide was due to continuous rainfall, where PWD recorded 217 millimetres of rain water for two weeks.

“The continuous rainfall caused weakness at the cliff,” he said.

Hamdan also said this is first time a landslide occurred in this specific section of the road as other potential landslide area along the road are located at three different spots along Section 38 to 46.

“The landslide incident at this spot was unexpected,” he said.

He also said there was no sign of logging activities nearby the area.

He added that the cost of the cleaning work has yet to be determined as work was ongoing with a part of the slope still unstable.

Yesterday, authorities retrieved two bodies from the landslide that occurred at around 1.30pm.

The victims were identified as Muhammad Hafiz Hamdi, 31, from Tanjung Piandang in Kerian, who was driving a lorry carrying vegetable and Tan Chee Heng, 36, from Klang, Selangor, who was driving an MPV.

The debris from the landslide covered about a 100-metre stretch blocking the road from the both the sides.

Police had initially advised the public to use the road from Tapah to head to Cameron Highlands as the Simpang Pulai road is temporarily closed.

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