Following the landslide tragedy that struck The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat in Tambun yesterday, the state government has ordered temporary closure of the resort until further instruction from local authorities.
According to Perak Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, the State Minerals and Geoscience Department (JMG) detected six more hanging blocks between five to 10 metres in size, all with the risk of falling.
“As we were informed by the department, the landslide was caused by an unusual downpour on Monday (November 9), which led to the addition of water pressure in the cracks of the limestone hill slope located at the vicinity of the resort,” he told reporters during a media session at the state secretariat building here today (November 11).
“This resulted in the soil becoming muddy water, which is the primary contributor to the occurrence of landslides.
“Apart from that, a section of the limestone hill facing the resort had a high weathering rate, which further increases the risk of the hill crumbling and causing landslides,” Faizal added.
As of date, guests of the resort have been directed to move due to safety concerns.
Meanwhile, the identities of deceased landslide victims, Ooi Chee Wei, 39 and Lee Tze Juin, 32, who were staying at the resort, had been further verified by authorities today.
Ipoh district police chief, Assistant Commissioner A. Asmadi Abdul Aziz said that both Ooi and Lee were from Kuala Lumpur and travelled to the state for work purposes.
“Their remains were respectively claimed by the male victim’s wife and the female victim’s younger sister.
“Ooi worked for an oil and gas company, while Lee was a property agent.
“The case was classified as sudden death caused by a natural disaster,” he expressed.
“It’s with deep regrets to say that the landslide was an unforecastable geological phenomenon.
“We’ve directed all parties involved to increase monitoring of risky limestone hill slopes in the state to prevent tragedies like such from happening again in the future,” Faizal further stated.