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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Mudslide at Malaysian campsite kills 21, including children

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At least 21 people, including children, died in a landslide on Friday while sleeping in tents at an unlicensed campsite in Malaysia, officials said. A landslide in the state of Selangor, which borders the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, occurred just before 3:00 am, tearing up a hillside and turning it into an organic farm. Authorities said they were operating the campsite illegally. Five children and her 12 women were among the victims, according to fire and rescue services. The disaster occurred in Batang Kali, about 50 km (30 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur. The area lies just outside the popular foothills of Genting Highlands, known for its resorts, waterfalls, and natural beauty.

Earth fell from an estimated height of 30 meters (100 feet) and covered an area of ​​about 1 acre (0.4 hectares), according to the chief of the Fire and Rescue Service. Farm owners did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Two of his workers, who are Myanmar nationals, told Reuters they managed to escape after being awakened by neighbors minutes before the farm was destroyed. “I have never seen such a terrible incident. I am so shocked and scared,” said Thawng Uk, who is 35 years old. “I was in a hurry, so I didn’t have anything with me…I am asking where I can get accommodation and food.”
Colleague Kung Tuang, 31 ) said he feared losing his job after the farm was destroyed. According to Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, initial investigations have found that a dam of about 450,000 cubic meters of Earth has collapsed.

According to the Malaysian National Disaster Management Agency, 94 people were caught in the landslide, 61 people are safe and 12 people are missing. Health Minister Zariha Mustafa said seven people, including a pregnant woman, were injured, as well as others with injuries ranging from minor lacerations to suspected spinal cord injuries. Police said he involved nearly 400 personnel in the rescue operation. The Singapore government said in a statement that he included three Singaporeans among those rescued. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong extended his condolences to Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and offered his assistance in the search and rescue effort.

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