Campground landslide kills 19; victims found “hugging each other”

Campground landslide kills 19; victims found “hugging each other”

On Friday, at least 19 people were killed by a landslide at a campground in Malaysia, while rescuers combed through the mud for another 14 who were believed to be buried. According to the state’s fire department chief, two of the deceased were discovered in a passionate hug.

Norazam Khamis, director of the state of Selangor’s fire and rescue department, told reporters that 19 persons were killed.

More than 90 people were sleeping on an organic farm when around 3 acres of soil fell from a road approximately 100 feet above the spot.

In this image supplied by Korporat JBPM on December 16, 2022, damaged automobiles can be seen among the debris caused by a landslide at a campground in Batang Kali, Selangor state, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. / AP

Authorities informed local media outlets that the landowners lacked a license to operate a campground. At least seven individuals were hospitalized and dozens more were rescued unharmed, according to Suffian Abdullah, the local police chief.

Leong Jim Meng told the English-language newspaper New Straits Times that he and his family were awakened by a loud blast and felt the earth shake at their campsite at Batang Kali, around 50 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur.

“My family and I were entrapped when the ground engulfed our tent. We made it to a parking lot and heard a second landslide occurring “The 57-year-old was reported to have said. In recent days, he noted, there has been no major precipitation, simply mild drizzles.

The monsoon season is presently underway in Malaysia, and the country’s development minister, Nga Kor Ming, said that all campgrounds near rivers, waterfalls, and slopes will be shuttered for a week to check their safety.

Early in the morning, the Selangor state fire department released photographs showing rescuers with flashlights using an excavator and shovels to dig through earth and debris. More than 400 individuals and tracking dogs participated in the search-and-rescue operation.

According to the news website Free Malaysia Today, fire chief Norazam Khamis stated that two of the victims recovered were ’embracing each other’ and were believed to be a mother and daughter.

Veronica Loi, who slept overnight at the location and survived the landslide, told AFP that her family was resting when they suddenly heard a tremendous noise.

“We noticed the tent next to us was completely gone,” she stated.

Nik Nazmi estimates that 450,000 cubic meters (almost 16 million cubic feet) of debris hit the campsite, enough to fill 180 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Nik Ahmad, the minister of natural resources, the environment, and climate change, told local media.

Wednesday, according to Suffian, the district police commander, the victims entered the location, a popular recreational site where locals pitch or hire tents from the farm. The campsite is close to Genting Highlands, a popular tourist attraction with theme parks and Malaysia’s lone casino.

Friday evening, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is expected to visit the location.

Nga told the local media that the campground has been functioning unlawfully for two years. He stated that the operator had official authority to operate an organic farm, but no camping authorization. Nga told the camp operator that, if proven guilty, he might face up to three years in prison and a fine.

Several rescued families with young children sought safety at a neighboring police station. The routes leading into the area have been closed off.

AFP contributed to the creation of this report.


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