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Landslide In Malaysia Kills 16 People, Leaves More Than 20 Missing

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Landslide In Malaysia Kills 16 People, Leaves More Than 20 Missing

(CTN NEWS) – On Friday morning, a landslide killed at least 16 people sleeping in tents at a campsite in Malaysia, officials and witnesses. More than 20 people are still missing, as search teams scoured thick mud and downed trees.

Selangor state’s landslide occurred before 3 a.m. (1900 GMT), destroying an organic farm with camping facilities, according to the state fire department.

The landslide struck while Teh Lynn Xuan, 22, was camping with 40 others.

Landslide In Malaysia Kills 16 People, Leaves More Than 20 Missing

Civil Defence teams search for survivors after the landslide hit the campsite at an organic farm near Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia Civil Defence via AP Photo]

She told the Malay-language daily Berita Harian, “I heard a loud sound like thunder, but it was rocks falling. We felt unstable, and soil was falling around us. My mother and I managed to crawl out and escape.”

According to her, one of her brothers died, and another is in the hospital.

The fire and rescue department reports that 59 people have been found safe, with 22 still missing due to the landslide.

Besides the 16 dead, eight people were hospitalized.

At a news conference, health minister Zaliha Mustafa said one of those taken to the hospital was pregnant, while others had minor cuts and a suspected spinal injury.

Landslide In Malaysia Kills 16 People, Leaves More Than 20 Missing

Survivors walk out after the landslide hit the campsite in Batang Kali. Photograph: AP/Fire and rescue department of Malaysia

Suffian Abdullah, the district police chief, said the dead were all Malaysians, including a five-year-old child.

He said an estimated 400 people from several agencies had been deployed for search-and-rescue efforts.

Approximately one acre (0.4 hectare) of land was covered by the landslide, which came down from a height of 30 metres (100 ft).

Images on social media showed rescue workers scrambling over thick mud, large trees and other debris after a large landslide along a steep, forested area beside a road.

Landslide In Malaysia Kills 16 People, Leaves More Than 20 Missing

Image Credit: AGU

On Friday morning, Malaysian minister of natural resources, environment, and climate change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad tweeted, “I pray the missing victims will be found safely soon.”

“The rescue team has been working since early this morning. I’m going down there now.”

There was a natural disaster about 50km (30 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, just outside the popular hilltop area of Genting Highlands, known for its resorts and waterfalls.

Bernama reported that the home affairs minister had ordered all campsites and water recreation areas around Batang Kali to close immediately until further notice.

https://twitter.com/bernamadotcom/status/1603504276415791105

On the Facebook page of Father’s Organic Farm, pictures show a farmhouse in a small valley with a large area for tents.

Land clearance and forest clearing are often blamed for landslides in Selangor, the country’s most affluent state.

Another camper, Leong Jim Meng, said he and his family didn’t expect a landslide since it hadn’t rained heavily recently, just a drizzle.

“As a result of the soil covering our tent, my family and I were trapped,” he told Berita Harian. “The only thing we could do was run to the parking lot and call the police. They arrived quickly about 30 minutes later.”

In seven states, flooding caused 21,000 people to be displaced last year.

In 1993, a mudslide caused by heavy rain caused a 12-storey residential building outside the capital to collapse, killing 48 people.

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