24 people have now died as a result of the landslide that occurred at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite in Batang Kali, Selangor, according to the authorities.
The Batang Kali landslide deaths happened at a business that was operating illegally in the middle of a clearing where Father’s Organic Farm’s camping area was. But given the region’s recent heavy and persistent rainfall, is it the cause of a natural disaster?
While experts are expressing their opinions on the matter, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming disclosed that the camping site lacked an operating permit from the Hulu Selangor District Council, the parties in charge.
Batang Kali Landslide Mistakes
Which also means that even though the public was fully aware of their location and the services they were offering at the campsite, they were conducting illegal business without the knowledge of the law? However, the authorities have since said the camp site was ‘permitted’ or allowed to conduct business but did not have a permit!
This violates Act 133, also known as the Street Drainage and Building Act. According to the law, the operator could receive a three-year prison sentence or a fine of no more than RM50,000 if found guilty.
Since at least 12 camp site visitors are still missing, the search and rescue operation resumes today after taking a break during the night. More horrifying discoveries are anticipated. Many of the victims are children, and rescue workers have described a heartbreaking scene while looking for survivors.
With effect from this Friday, all “high-risk” camping areas across the nation are required to remain closed for a full week.
All potentially hazardous campsites near rivers, waterfalls, and even hillsides will be immediately removed for a period of seven days. This will go on until the government issues new directives.
According to early research, an embankment slope failure was to blame for the landslide that hit Father’s Organic Farm’s campsite in Gohtong Jaya early on Friday.
Batang Kali Landslide – Geologits Speak
According to Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, the landslide moved about 450,000 square metres of soil over an area of 500, 200, and 8 metres.
If there is any earth movement in the area, the Minerals and Geoscience Department will monitor it and send out a warning.
Meanwhile, landslides are primarily caused by saturated soil, according to geology experts.
According to geologist Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr. Ibrahim Kamoo, the area’s slope is unstable because of the recent, nonstop rain, which has weakened the soil structure.
As the rain persisted, water started to accumulate in the soil pores, weakening the soil structure and making it damp. The situation was made worse by the cloudy skies, which caused the evaporation process to reduce the amount of water in the soil, which led to the landslide and the large-scale soil erosion of the slope.
Geologist Dr. Nor Shahidah Mohd Nazer, a senior lecturer at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Department of Earth Science and Environment, thinks that the recent torrential rains as the nation enters its monsoon season were a contributing factor.
She claimed that this was a rare occurrence that did not follow a period of intense rain.
She continued, “Such a landslide is called an earthflow, which is a type of landslide that comes with a lot of water, and the composition of the slide, or the slope itself, consists of high-fine-grained material that is able to absorb more water, as well as restricts water’s ability to pass easily.
Under this condition, the slope gets saturated, and it will induce the formation of slip surfaces deep inside the ground.
Meanwhile, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs, and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali stated that 628 rescue personnel from 16 agencies were involved in the SAR operation.
According to him, the main goal of the SAR operation is to rescue victims who are believed to be buried, while health personnel are focused on treating the injured. – Source: Agencies, News Website