More bodies recovered from Batang Kali landslide

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 Dec 2022:

The death toll at a recent landslide at a Malaysian campsite rose to 26, which includes eight children, after the authorities recovered two bodies overnight, officials said today.

The massive landslide occurred at 2.24am last Friday at Father’s Organic Farm at a wooded mountainous area in Batang Kali, about 40km from Kuala Lumpur.

Search and rescue teams today extracted the body of a man hugging his dog, while the body of a girl, aged 6-10, was recovered late yesterday, Hulu Selangor district police chief Suffian Abdullah said at a press conference.

The authorities continue to search for seven others that remain missing in the landslide, said Minister of Local Government Development Nga Kor Ming.

The search and rescue teams comprise of nearly 700 people, including official agencies and volunteers, and are led by fire services personnel and the police.

According to authorities, more than 90 people were in the campsite when the landslide occurred, and more than 60 campers were rescued or found safe.

The causes of the incident so far are unknown, although the country is in the middle of the monsoon season, which has already forced the displacement of more than 70,000 people.

Separately, at least five people have died in monsoon-triggered heavy flooding in the northeast states.

Bernama news agency reported three of the victims were sisters who were electrocuted while trying to avoid being swept away by the floodwaters outside their home in the state of Kelantan.

Local media reported that an infant also drowned in that state. The fifth victim is a two-year-old girl who died on Sunday after she was swept away by the floods in the neighbouring state of Terengganu.

Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, the wife of Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, visited the family who lost the three daughters, and said the flood victims would be eligible for compensation. “We hope such an incident would not recur.”

Bernama reported more than 31,000 people have had to flee their homes in Kelantan state and more than 39,000 have been taken to evacuation centres in Terengganu after floods hit the area since last weekend.

Dozens of people are killed and thousands displaced every year in Malaysia by landslides and floods caused by monsoon rains during the rainy season between November and March.